A total of €250m is forecast to be spent by Irish shoppers on Black Friday - split almost equally between online and bricks and mortar retailers.

This is according to the latest Consumer Market Monitor, published today by the Marketing Institute of Ireland and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

The monitor shows that Irish consumers are continuing to spend despite some weakening in confidence.

It also noted that the relentless move towards online retailing is continuing unabated and online spending is forecast to reach €16 billion this year, up 16% on 2018.

40% of this goes on online retailing, while the balance is spent on services such as flights and mobile top-ups.

The Consumer Market Monitor also reveals that consumer spending is providing the main stimulus for the Irish economy along with property investment as the year progresses.

Personal spending grew by 3.4% last year to €105 billion and is up by 3% in the first half of this year which marked a strong performance, the Marketing Institute of Ireland said. 

The Monitor said this was a relatively good performance against a backdrop of uncertainty concerning the outcome of Brexit. 

"It seems likely that this uncertainty will continue to weigh on consumers up to the end of this year, although the risk of a no deal Brexit seems to be receding giving reason for renewed optimism," the monitor said. 

"The strong fundamentals in the Irish economy are also a counterbalance to any negative sentiment associated with Brexit," it added.

As well as rising wages, consumer spending has been supported by improving household finances, mainly as a result of the increasing value of peoples' homes. 

Household wealth stood at €772 billion in 2018, equivalent to €444,000 per household or €159,000 per person. This is up by 70% from the trough of €430 billion in 2012. 

"Perceptions of increasing wealth breed confidence and encourage consumers to release some of that wealth for spending," today's Monitor said. 

But it also noted that the market for cars is the most troubled sector at the moment.

Sales of new cars were down by 7% in the year to the end of September, for a total of 107,686, suggesting a total of about 112,000 new car sales for the full year. 

This continues the negative trend of the previous two years, with sales down 10.5% in 2017 and by a further 4.6% in 2018.