Retail sales up in year to September
Food and fuel sales power the advance
Furniture and lighting recorded the largest monthly volume decrease, falling by 6.7 per cent.
Retail sales volumes for September increased by one per cent when compared to the same month last year, according to new figures released today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The value and volume of retail sales were also up 0.5 per cent in September of this year when compared to August. However, the value of these sales has dropped by the same amount (0.5 per cent) on an annual basis.
Sectors which recorded the largest month on month volume increases include fuel, which was up 3.2 per cent, as well as food, beverages and tobacco, which rose by 2.3 per cent. Sales of hardware items, paints and glass also increased by 2.2 per cent.
The CSO noted that when motor trade activity is excluded there is no monthly change to the volume of retail sales, with the annual figure showing a 0.3 per cent drop.
Similarly, the value of retail sales drop by 0.5 per cent (monthly) and 1.8 per cent (annually) when motor trades are excluded.
The value of retail motor trade activities, of which new car sales accounts for approximately 45 per cent of turnover, has increased by 9.4 per cent in the year to September 2013.
Furniture and lighting together with books, newspapers and stationery were the sectors with the largest monthly volume decrease, with both categories falling by 6.7 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.
The volume of sales in non-specialised stores, which consist primarily of large scale grocers such as SuperValue and Dunnes, also dropped by 1.9 per cent.
Alan McQuaid, economist with Merrion Stockbrokers, said that households are still very nervous about the economic climate and are more willing to save than spend until there is greater clarity about the outlook going forward. However, he noted that an improvement in unemployment could translate into stronger figures.
“A continuation of this trend in the coming months will eventually be reflected in stronger retail sales in our view,” he said.