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A price war is making things much cheaper for consumers

The volume of retail sales has risen by 11.9% since last year.

Image: Shutterstock/Milles Studio

NEW FIGURES FROM the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have shown a year-on-year increase of 11.9% in the volume of retail sales in the Irish economy.

The findings also found that there was an increase of 0.5% in the volume of retail sales between March and April – although this figure jumped to 3.1% when motor trades, the only area that saw a decrease, was excluded.

In the same period, there was markedly less movement in the value of retail sales, with last month showing an annual increase of 8.3% compared with April 2014. When motor sales were excluded there was an increase of 7.8% in the annual figure for the value of retail sales.

graph - cso figures Retail Sales Index Source: CSO.ie

Good news for the consumer

The combination of growth in the volume of retail sales and the relative stagnation in the value of retail sales have been put down to competition among retailers to keep prices down.

Speaking today about the latest figures, Deputy Chief Executive Seán Murphy from Retail Excellence Ireland, said, “the latest retail sales data are positive showing that Retail Sales Volumes and value are increasing.”

The fact that they are not increasing in lock step demonstrates that retailers are continuing to cut prices to attract footfall. 

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volume change in sales since last year Source: CSO.ie

Also reacting to the figures from today was the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association (ISME). The group welcomed the improving retail figures but pointed to the black economy as an ongoing point of concern.

The body called on the Revenue to take action on rogue traders. The group also made the point that the benefits of the economic recovery was yet to be felt by many in the sector.

Speaking today, ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding, said, “The recovery has yet to be felt by our domestic retailers and jobs continue to be at risk in this sector despite the continuous cheerleading by the ‘big retailer’ associations.”

Read: After taking a brief timeout, house prices are climbing up and up again

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