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Public not going out to spend as retail sales drop 2.1 per cent

The volume of retail sales fell by over 5 per cent in May 2011 once you exclude figures for the motor trade.

Image: AN KOLLER/Czech News Agency/Press Association Images

THE VOLUME of retail sales fell by 2.1 per cent in May 2011 in comparison with the previous May, according to the CSO.

However, if motor trades are excluded from the figures, the volume of sales dropped by over 5 per cent between May 2010 and 2011.

The only two categories shown to increase from last year’s results are motor trades and electrical goods, which were up 13 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively. Car sales are understood to have been boosted by the impending closure of the government’s scrappage scheme, which ends tomorrow. It had initially been due to end in December 2010, but was given a six-month extension.

Meanwhile, the value of retail sales also fell between May 2010 and 2011, however a slight increase was recorded between April 2011 and May 2011 (1.1 per cent).

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan recently urged the Irish public to get and spend in an effort to boost the state’s economic recovery.

The latest consumer sentiment index showed that it had slipped back to February 2011 levels in the month of June 2011, as consumers continue to worry about job stability, the economic outlook and future budget cuts.

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Today, Retail Excellence Ireland said the CSO figures for falling retail sales volumes “shows clearly that consumer confidence is at a low” and demonstrates the difficult trading conditions facing retailers.

Read: Consumer sentiment slips back to February levels >

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