New registration plates boost retail sales for July
A 37.4% increase in motor trade sales leads to 6.1% boost to overall retail figures
Sales of books, newspapers and stationery increased by 16.2 per cent in July, while clothing, footwear and textiles rose 5.3 per cent. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Retail sales increased by 6.1 per cent in July compared with the same month in 2012, boosted by high volumes of car sales.
Overall sales in the motor trade increased by 37.4 per cent, most likely as a result of the introduction of the 132 registration plate this year.
There were 9,306 new private cars licensed last month, compared with 6,164 in July 2012.
If motor trades are excluded, the volume of retail sales increased by 1.3 per cent in the month.
Sales of books, newspapers and stationery increased by 16.2 per cent, while clothing, footwear and textiles rose 5.3 per cent.
The sectors with the largest monthly decreases were electrical goods, which fell by 4.9 per cent, and fuel, which dropped 4.2 per cent.
Chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Isme) Mark Fielding welcomed the rise, but warned that thousands of jobs were still under threat as a result of reduced consumer demand and rising business costs.
“It is no thanks to Government that the sales have increased in July, as the administration has been marked absent in their duties to the sector,” he said.
“They have allowed the rescued banks to hike up bank charges, condoned increases in local government rates and charges and ran away from upward only rents, while threatening the reintroduction of uneconomic wage setting mechanisms.”
Mr Fielding called on the Government to introduce a national retail strategy group to address commercial rates and other issues impacting on the sector.