All revved up: car sales drive retail sales 7% higher

If car sales are excluded however, the annual increase in sales volumes was 4.6%

Retail sales volumes rose by 7 per cent in the year to June, but were down by 3.4 per cent versus the previous month, according to new figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

If car sales are excluded however, the annual increase in sales volumes was 4.6 per cent.

On a monthly basis, there was a 2.1 per cent rise in sales volumes for electrical goods in June, while non-specialised stores volumes rose 1.7 per cent.

The biggest decreases were seen in furniture and lighting, which was down 3.1 per cent compared to May.


The value of retail sales was up by 6.3 per cent on an annual basis but fell by 0.9 per cent compared to the previous month.

If car sales are excluded there was an increase of 0.6 per cent in the month and an increase of 4 per cent in the annual figure.

Retail sales are up 3.3 per cent on average for the first six months of the year, versus the same period in 2017.

Merrion Capital chief economist Alan McQuaid said the latest figures were in line with expectations and showed that consumers are continuing to spend strongly despite bank deposists being at record-highs.

“What happens on the currency and Brexit fronts will be important factors in determining the spending patterns of some consumers in the Republic over the next twelve to eighteen months, but we are still expecting to see healthy personal consumption in the Irish economy over the remainder of this year at least and probably in 2019 as well as things currently stand,” he said.

Mr McQuaid said he expects headline sales will post an increase of between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent for 2018, with “core” sales 4.5 per cent to 5. per cent % higher on average than 2017.

“We think personal spending will post another positive increase as the unemployment rate drops below 5 per cent and disposable incomes rise,” he said.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist