Troubled motor sector hits retail sales in July

Volume of sales fell 4.4% with large hit taken in motor sector

Retail sales took a hit in July, primarily as a result of a decline in sales in the motor trade despite the month typically being a strong one for the sector given that it’s the first month for new 192 registrations.

The volume of retail sales fell 4.4 per cent in July compared to the same month last year and 4.3 per cent compared to June, according to data from the Central Statistics Office.

The large monthly decrease is attributed with a slump in the volume of sales in the motor trade which dropped 13 per cent. That corresponds with an 8.4 per cent dip in new car registrations in July compared to July 2018.

The value of sales was also down significantly, dropping 5.7 per cent on the year. With the motor trade excluded, the volume of “core” sales actually rose 4.2 per cent on the year while the value was up 1.9 per cent.



Non specialised stores, including supermarkets, saw a strong uptick in business over the course of the 12 months to July with the volume of sales up 6.7 per cent and value of sales up 5.7 per cent. The picture for department stores was altogether bleaker with the value of sales falling almost 9 per cent.

Strong yearly gains were also seen in the hardware, paints and glass sectors which recorded a 10.5 per cent increase in the volume of goods it sold. Bars, meanwhile, took a 7.3 per cent hit in the volume of its sales and an almost 5 per cent hit in the value of sales.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business