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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 24 November 2020

Good news for retailers: sales increased in December

It was the first time there has been quarterly growth in retail sales in almost two years.

Shoppers on Dublin's Grafton Street in December
Shoppers on Dublin's Grafton Street in December
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

RETAIL SALES IN Ireland increased in December according to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office this afternoon.

Business groups have given a cautious welcome to the figures but warned that jobs are still under threat in the retail industry.

There was an increase of 2.1 per cent in sales in December compared with the previous month. There was also a year-on-year increase of 3 per cent.

“Today’s figures show that on an annual basis sales in department stores, as well as sales of fuel, clothing and footwear, furniture and electrical items grew in December,” said Retail Ireland Chairperson Frank Gleeson.

The motor trade was the single biggest reason for the monthly increase, jumping by 26.3 per cent in December from November.

Other changes month on month were:

  • Department stores (+8.1 per cent)
  • Bars (+2.7 per cent)
  • Non specialised stores (+ 0.4 per cent)
  • Furniture and lighting (-5.6 per cent)
  • Other retail sales (-3.6 per cent)
  • Food, beverages and tobacco in specialised stores (-3.2 per cent).

However if motor trades are excluded the volume of retail sales increased by just 0.2 per cent in December compared with November and the annual increase was just 0.6 per cent.

“The monthly increase was just 0.2 per cent, but taking account of strong performance in November, sales in the final quarter increased by 1.2 per cent,” said IBEC economist Reetta Suonpera.

This was the first instance of quarterly growth since the first quarter of 2010, IBEC said.

Read the full Retail Sales Index report from the CSO (PDF)

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