Retail Ireland has said Irish consumers are set to spend just under €5 billion over the Christmas season.

The group says concerns over Brexit had weighed on consumers during the year, but that has not translated into a fall in sales.

Irish households are set to spend an average of €2,800 this December - €940 more than any other month.

Retail Ireland says the increased spending comes on the back of a strong economy and a rise in disposable income.

Spending over the six-week period surrounding Christmas will top €4.9bn, which is nearly a 3.5% rise on 2018.

The group says Christmas remains crucial for many retailers, with many doing over 30% of their annual trade during the festive period.

It also signals a rise in online shopping, with online sales running at six times that of traditional outlets.

According to Central Bank statistics, the total e-commerce spend is likely to exceed €21bn for the year, which is a 100% rise on 2015.

Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon said that with the risk of an imminent no deal Brexit gone, Christmas 2019 looks set to deliver a strong performance for the retail sector. 

"Rising disposable incomes, record numbers at work and falling prices have all combined to give consumers greater spending power than ever before," Mr Dillon said. 

He noted that Black Friday fell nearly a week later this year, with some of the bounce from it carrying through into December. 

"Retailers have reported strong trading over the recent fortnight, making up for a slower start in some categories. The spending power is there in the economy, but retailers are having to compete aggressively to attract consumers to their offering," Mr Dillon added.