Public Transport to Resume Full Schedule
As transport demand increases with the continuous lifting of restrictions, Dublin Bus and Irish Rail have announced the return to a full weekday schedule from next week.
The decision to return to a full schedule is to accommodate an increase in the number of customers using public transport within capacity restrictions. The National Transport Authority has reported a 29pc surge in demand for public transport since Easter.
Dublin Bus said it will operate a Monday to Friday timetable from May 4th, while Irish Rail will also resume its full schedule operations from Tuesday. Public transport capacity will also double to 50% from May 10th.
Economic Pulse Close to Pre-Pandemic Levels
Bank of Ireland’s latest Economic Pulse shows an uptick in positive sentiment this month and now stands at 85.4. The index, which combines the results of the consumer and business pulses, was 11.8 higher than in March and up 51.1 on last April’s all-time low. As a result, the Economic Pulse is now fast approaching pre-pandemic levels.
There was a large jump in business confidence this month. The Business Pulse increased 14.3 on last month and up 59.3 compared to a year ago to now stand at 88.9 for April.
Firms are more upbeat about activity and jobs, 53% of firms said they are anticipating a pick-up in business activity in the near term, while almost a quarter expect to employ more people.
The Consumer Pulse rose for a third month running to 71.7, up 1.9 on last month’s figure and 18.5 higher than a year ago. The bank reported households were more positive about the overall economy outlook and their own finances. Buying sentiment has also improved, with those saying that they are holding out on spending easing to 42% from 61% during the first lockdown.
The share of consumers which consider it a good time purchase big ticket items like furniture and electrical goods also rose to 28%.
A new extensive research study from Irish content marketing agency Zahra has uncovered local insights into consumers’ attitude on range of topics.
Zahra’s Q1 sentiment report, which included 4,191 participants, reveals the pandemic has changed many aspects of our life. People seem to be enjoying a slower pace of life and are appreciating the simpler things. 40% of participants say more time spent with friends and family is an aspect of life they would like to keep after the pandemic.
The pandemic has had a positive impact on people’s relationship with homegrown suppliers. 72% of participants in the capital say a year of living with Covid-19 has led them to shop local more, with 37% spending more on groceries because they “need something to enjoy”.
The report suggests the pandemic has been beneficial to our physical and mental health and the time down has encouraged people in Dublin to exercise more. Almost half (44%) say they are more active since the pandemic began, with 84% stating exercise has had a positive impact on helping to maintain mental health this year.
Looking to the summer ahead, of those who plan to spend on travel, 40% intend to explore what Ireland has to offer.
Commenting on the research, Gina Miltiadou, MD and Co-Founder of Bray-based content marketing agency Zahra said: “As the country looks forward to the loosening of restrictions, now is the time for businesses to use content as a means to re-engage, build and create human connections.”
Speaking to The Week In Politics on RTÉ last weekend An Taoiseach Micheál Martin succinctly put the where the emphasis lies for the coming months when he said that the ‘summer is outdoor’ and that the ‘outdoor theme is critical’. Couldn’t have put it better ourselves….