2015 was a good year for household finances, with falling food and energy prices, coupled with a return of pay rises, boosting disposable incomes.
This has led to Northern Ireland experiencing a retail mini-boom of sorts during recent months.
However, local car showrooms appear to have been left out of the party.
The latest SMMT figures show that whilst the UK as a whole saw new car sales hit a record high in 2015, Northern Ireland new car sales remain in the slow lane, recording the first annual fall – albeit a very small one – since 2011.
There is a marked contrast between England (+7.39%) and Northern Ireland (-0.18%).
Scotland was at the back of the grid however, with new car sales falling -0.46% in 2015 and 10.51% in December alone, as the significant fall in global oil prices continues to impact on Scotland’s oil-industry-dependent economy.
Falling oil prices may be good for Scottish motorists, but not for the Scottish economy.