Political uncertainty 'could hit spending'
Footfall on Northern Ireland's high streets and shopping centres was down slightly during May, new figures have revealed.
The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium and Springboard said political instability could affect people's willingness to spend even further.
The report said turnout at shops had also slumped on April, when figures had grown 1.2% year on year.
However, the Province's retailers were having a better time of it than their UK counterparts, which saw footfall fall by an average of 1%.
Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said consumers could be feeling the chill effect of uncertainty at Stormont as politicians struggle to agree on welfare reform.
"For the second time in less than a year we have seen the political process hit the pause button and this isn't good for business. Many retailers have a choice over where to invest," he said.