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Retail prices and decline of sterling

Published 17/10/2016

The recent sharp decline in the value of sterling has generated stories of southern shoppers flocking over the border to take advantage of cheaper prices in the north.

The real story, however, is rather one of retailers down south protecting their already high margins and refusing to lower their prices in recognition of the fact that a lot, if not the majority, of the goods they sell are sourced from the UK and are, hence, now costing them less.

Leaving aside the odd differences in VAT, it shouldn't matter which side of the border you buy goods. What matters is that UK manufacturers are becoming more cost-competitive versus their Irish counterparts, which, if it persists, will be bad news for employment prospects in Ireland.

R A BLACKBURN

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