Retail sales rise for fourth consecutive month
Retail sales rose in October for the fourth consecutive month, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office today.
The volume of sales increased by 1.7 per cent last month when compared with September, marking a rise of 3.1 per cent since October 2011.
It is the highest monthly increase recorded 10 months.
The electrical goods sector saw a 24.8 per cent rise in sales volume, while books, newspapers and stationery rose by 9.4 per cent, and fuel sales increased by 3.6 per cent.
The sectors with the largest monthly decreases were sales at bars, which were down 6 per cent, and furniture and lighting, which declined by 3 per cent.
The value of retail sales increased by 1.6 per cent in the month, a rise of 3.6 per cent since October last year.
Chief economist with NCB Stockbrokers Philip O’Sullivan said the rise in electronic sales was largely attributable to the switch from analogue to digital television on October 24th.
“Our sense is that the further tax increases and spending cuts due to be unveiled in next week's budget represent a near-term headwind for the retail sector,” he added.
Retail Excellence Ireland CEO David Fitzsimons welcomed the figures, but said the industry “continues to be in a state of great distress” in the lead-up to Christmas.
“Upcoming Budget announcements and weather patterns will affect retail sales and consumer sentiment,” Mr Fitzsimons said.
A survey of Irish retailers by Retail Excellence Ireland published yesterday showed a predicted fall in Christmas trading of 0.47 per cent this year, compared to Christmas 2011.