Irish retail sales unexpectedly declined in June, falling 5.8 per cent when compared with May, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.
However, a notable exception was pubs, where sales surged due to the effects of the European Championship. Bars had among the largest month-on-month volume increases, rising 1.9 per cent.
“This likely reflects the effects of the European Championships as punters flocked to the pubs to support the ‘Boys in Green’,” Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary said.
When volatile car sales are excluded, retail sales actually declined by 1 per cent in the month of June, but increased by 4.9 per cent in the year to June.
There was a decrease of 3.4 per cent in the value of retail sales in June when compared with May 2016; an annual increase of 3.4 per cent when compared with June 2015.
“Although the retail sales period ran to July 2nd, thus encompassing the shock of the Brexit vote, it is too early to tell whether the vote is having any effect on the Irish consumer,” Mr O’Leary said.
The sectors with the largest monthly volume decreases were furniture and lighting (-13.7 per cent), hardware, paints and glass (-8.7 per cent) and motor trades (-4.2 per cent). Electrical goods sales increased by 2.2 per cent, while books, newspapers and stationery were up 1.5 per cent.
Mr O’Leary said price deflation remained a prominent feature on the high street in Ireland, with further price declines likely due to lower sterling.
“The steepest price declines are in furniture and lighting (-5.5 per cent year-on-year), electrical goods (-5.1 per cent year-on-year) and other retail (-6.2 per cent year-on-year).”