Retail sales decline 4 per cent on a monthly basis

Sector with largest monthly increase was furniture and lighting which rose 13.2%

Retail sales volumes decreased by 4 per cent last month, when compared with July 2015, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Retail sales volumes decreased by 4 per cent last month, when compared with July 2015, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

 

The recovery in consumer spending remains on track, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office, which show a 9.3 per cent rise in the volume of retail sales year-on-year.

While there was a 4 per cent decline in retail sales volumes last month, this is due to the fall in new cars as sales of 152 registrations tapered off, says Goodbody Stockbrokers.

If these are excluded, there was an increase of 0.9 per cent in the volume of retail sales in August when compared with July, and a 7.6 per cent rise in the annual figure.

The sectors with the largest month-on-month volume increases were furniture and lighting, and other retail sales, which rose 13.2 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively.

The sector with the largest monthly decreases were motors, which fell 4.6 per cent.

On an annual basis, sales of furniture and lighting were up 19 per cent year-on-year, while clothing and footwear sales rose by 13 per cent.

DIY sales (hardware, paints and glass) rebounded in August, up 9 per cent year-on-year.

Despite warnings from the drink industry that high alcohol taxes threaten pubs, Monday’s retail sales figures showed the sector has rebounded strongly.

Pub sales in August were up more than 6 per cent, according to the Central Statistics Office, after a rise of more than 10 per cent in July and 6 per cent in June.

Dermot O’Leary, chief economist of Goodbody stockbrokers, said the figures were “impressive.... this finishes off a good summer for the pub trade.” He suggested flat pricing in 2015 had benefitted the sector.

Donall O’Keeffe, the chief executive of the Dublin-based Licensed Vintners Association, said city centre pubs are trading “exceptionally well” while the market for suburban pubs had “stabilised”.