Recession impact 'worse in NI'

Published Wednesday, 09 May 2012
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New evidence has shown that Northern Ireland has been more affected by the recession than other parts of the UK - with the region the only one not to experience an up-turn in the motor trade last month and franchises like Clinton Cards still under threat.

Recession impact 'worse in NI'
Clinton Cards has become the latest casualty of the high street spending slump (© PA)

According to the latest registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, almost 200 fewer cars were sold in Northern Ireland in April compared to the same period last year.

It represented a 5% drop at a time when sales in the rest of the UK were picking up - with a 7% increase in Wales, almost 5% in Scotland and 3% in England.

Meanwhile Clinton Cards entered administration on Wednesday, putting several hundred full and part-time jobs in Northern Ireland - at both its stores and those of its sister chain Birthdays - at risk.

While the administrators say they're confident of attracting would be buyers, they're already warning it's likely some stores will have to close across the UK. In the meantime though, stores are remaining open.

Northern Bank Chief Economist Angela McGowan said it's all a reflection of local consumer sentiment.

"Households are not feeling that confident to spend on big ticket items like cars or holidays and will pull back when they feel a bit of pressure on their domestic income," she said.

Ms McGowan added that, with little economic growth expected this year, it could be some time before consumer confidence is regained.

She continued: "It is probably going to take time to build up that confidence depending on how people feel in terms of their income and how secure they feel in their jobs and for that we need suitable economic growth.

"This year it is pretty low so we would expect to see people quite reluctant to spend for quite some time."

© UTV News
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6 Comments
Rod in :) wrote (930 days ago):
lol, 'Clinton Cars'. Aye well said Eileen, the shop was a rip off anyways!
Inompetence in Coleraine wrote (930 days ago):
The recession has been exacerbated by after-effects of the banking crisis of 2008 and the current Eurozone problems. However we have a truly incompetent bunch in Stormont who think that because they talk to each other and don't argue about language, parades, flags etc. we should be grateful. What they've done is ploughed money into tourism to the tune of 80 million and counting on a museum in which they've overestimated the wider public interest and a golf tournament without a viable private sponsor. All of this has been done without adequate infrastructure to support the estimated incoming visitors. Sammy Wilson said in 2008 that Northern Ireland could only support a certain number of tourists and yet his colleagues have now changed that realistic view. Tourism. What about foreign direct investment? What about improving transport links in the West? Ach sure we'll just keep saying "Titanic" over and over again and produce ads with nauseating music and surfing. We'll be alright so we will..... Time to go I think.....Aye that'll mean more room for tourists.....
norman.d in bangor wrote (931 days ago):
with shops closing and jobs lost this executive raise retirement age how are they going to get unemployment down this recession is being made worse with these austerity measures benefit cuts job cuts high fuel prices we will sink further into recession just like greece and spain
Eileen in Fermanagh wrote (931 days ago):
While I find it very hard for any store to close and people losing their jobs, I am not surprised that Clinton Cards are going into administration.. The prices they charge for their cards is outrageous, the ordinary five eight in the street cannot afford to pay this prices. I personally can buy three beautiful cards with a beautiful verse for them in a pound shop in my local town, as three for £1.00. It has the same meaning as a card in Clintons at £3 or £4. Their other products in the shop like teddies, frames and wrapping paper is also outrageous what they charge. Anytime I pass the shop in my local town, its empty, and that is the reason why, the people dont have the money to spend on these cards or any other products when they can get them cheaper even on the internet from moonpig etc. and they are personalised and still cheaper than Clintons.
Jamesbelfast in Belfast wrote (931 days ago):
In response to Robert in oversees. Your comment doesn't make sense. How can the motor trade influence the cost of fuel and insurance? If anything lower costs in that respect would actually benefit the car trade. Imagine if fuel and insurance was cheap the demand for cars would increase.
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