Retail sales fall 1.7% as consumers spend less on hardware and cosmetics

The sector with the highest annual volume increase was bars at 271%

Retail sales fell in October as consumers spent less on hardware and pharmaceuticals. Photograph: Alan Betson

Retail sales fell in October as consumers spent less on hardware and pharmaceuticals. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Retail sales fell in October as consumers spent less on hardware and pharmaceuticals.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show retail sales, a strong indicator of consumer demand, decreased by 1.7 per cent in October compared with the previous month.

On an annual basis, retail volumes were still 1.5 per cent higher than in October 2020, but the CSO cautioned that year-on-year comparisons were misleading because of the low base of sales that took place at various points last year.

The sectors with the highest monthly declines were hardware, paints and glass (-13.4 per cent); and pharmaceuticals, medical and cosmetic articles (-4.9 per cent).

Conversely those with the largest monthly volume increases were bars (18 per cent); books, newspapers and stationery (4.9 per cent); and furniture and lighting (2.8 per cent).

The sector with the highest annual volume increase was bars (271 per cent). However, the CSO noted that in October of last year, the State was under Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions from early October 2020, and Level 5 lockdown for the final 10 days of October 2020.