DUBLIN, Ireland: Industry officials have said that they do not expect large jumps in retail spending to be seen before summer 2022, at the earliest.
Meanwhile, it is anticipated that Christmas spending will reach the expected €5.4bn, according to officials at industry group Retail Excellence.
Additionally, retail sales are expected to increase marginally, rising slightly over 2019 and 2020.
At the same time, Retail Excellence chief executive Duncan Graham described consumer confidence as "fragile."
"Money is still there, but people are being more cautious about how they spend it. I don't think we'll see that money being spent until spring or summer 2022, if at all," Graham told The Irish Examiner.
Meanwhile, Arnold Dillon, director of Retail Ireland, said it is "too early to say" how consumer spending will look in 2022.
"On consumer spending, the big question remains the Covid situation. How that pans out will have a significant bearing on confidence and how people plan ahead and spend their money," he said, as reported by The Irish Examiner.
However, figures recently published indicate that retail sales volumes fell for the second month in a row in October. The monthly decline of 1.5 percent was also the third monthly decrease in four months.
Surveys in recent weeks indicated that consumer confidence remains flat due to rising Covid case numbers, continuing uncertainty over the pandemic, inflation, rising energy costs, and Brexit concerns.
Graham noted that even as Christmas spending totals appear healthy this year, much is being spent online, with Irish money being sent outside the country.
Graham has warned that 2022 will see consumer spending held back by continuing supply chain issues and inflationary pressures. He also said he expects there to be "noticeably" higher prices in shops and online at the start of 2022.
Further, fewer foreign visitors and declining number of office workers in central cities has harmed retail sales, due to the significant drop in footfall.