Retail sales rise marginally in November

Sales of books, newspapers and stationery decline 2.3 per cent during the month

The sector with the largest monthly   decrease in November was books, newspapers and stationary, where sales fell by 2.3 per cent. Photo: Getty images

The sector with the largest monthly decrease in November was books, newspapers and stationary, where sales fell by 2.3 per cent. Photo: Getty images

 

The volume of retail sales rose by increased by 0.2 per cent in November when compared with October 2014, and were up 4.7 per cent on an annual basis, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

If motor trades are excluded, there was an increase of 0.1 per cent in the volume of retail sales in November 2014 when compared with October 2014 and there was an increase of 3.6 per cent in the annual figure.

According to the CSO, the sector with the largest monthly decrease in November was books, newspapers and stationery, where sales fell by 2.3 per cent.

Motor sales fell 1.3 per cent last month while fuel sales were down 1.3 per cent.

Conversely, the sectors with the largest monthly increases were electrical goods, which rose 2.6 per cent, clothing, footwear & textiles (up 2.2 per cent), and department stores (up 1.6 per cent).

Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said here were clear signs of stronger personal expenditure in 2014, particularly in relation to new cars, concert tickets and online internet shopping.

“Although there is still a general air of caution among consumers, there seems to be a view that the worst is over following the downturn of recent years,” he said.

Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke said heavy discounting remains a prominent feature of the market, with the value of sales increasing by less than half that of the volume of sales.

“Not all retailers are benefitting from the positive trends, with specialist outlets such as butchers, bakeries and off licences seeing a combined fall of 1.9 per cent in the value of their sales, while the pharmacy category recorded a drop of 0.8 per cent in its sales values,” he added.

Separately, new figures show annual inflation in the OECD area slowed to 1.5 per cent in the year to November 2014, compared with 1.7 per cent in the year to October reflecting accelerated falls in energy prices.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Thursday said the annual rate of inflation in its 34 members slowed to 1.7 per cent when food and energy are excluded.

In the Euro zone, annual inflation slowed slightly to 0.3 per cent in November 2014. Inflation excluding food and energy was stable at 0.7 per cent.