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Retail sales fell slightly in December - CSO

The volume of retail sales fell by 0.1 per cent in December but figures show an increase when motor trades are excluded.

Image: Press Association Images

RETAIL SALES FELL by 0.1 per cent in December according to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office this morning.

The volume of retail sales was down 0.1 per cent on figures in November and there was an annual decrease of 1 per cent when compared to December 2011.

But the figures improve if motor trades are excluded with the volume of retail sales increasing by 0.8 per cent in the month, and the same in the year to December 2012.

Confirming the anecdotal evidence from retailers who experienced a boom over the Christmas period, there were increases in the volume of retail sales in department stores (up 6.3 per cent), bars (4.4 per cent) and in books, newspapers and stationery (3.4 per cent).

But not all retailers benefited with figures showing large monthly falls for furniture and lighting (down 7.1 per cent) and in the areas classified as ‘other retail sales’ (3.1 per cent)

The value of retail sales was unchanged in December from the previous month but there was an annual decrease of 0.7 per cent.

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Again, if motor trades are excluded the value of retail sales shows a monthly increase of 0.3 per cent and an annual increase of 1.1 per cent.

The figures slightly contradict those released by Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, last week which recorded a small increase in retail sales in December.

Last week: Retail sales up in last three months of 2012

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Hugh O'Connell

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