Northern Irish retail suffers

Published:  20 January, 2010

BELFAST: Northern Ireland's retail sector suffered a sharp downturn in the run-up to Christmas despite study that confirmed that more people switched to north of the Border to do their shopping last year.

Industry analysis from Ulster Bank shows the North's retail sector experienced the sharpest fall in activity across all sectors of the economy in December.

Richard Ramsey, the bank's chief economist in the North, says there is growing evidence to suggest "the clear out performance amongst some firms in certain locations is masking the general malaise in the sector as a whole."

The latest Ulster Bank Northern Ireland Purchasing Managers' Index shows new and outstanding business fell last month following no change in November. Ramsey said local firms blame lower volumes and unfavourable trading conditions for the December downturn.

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