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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 25 October 2020
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Retail sales remain at lowest point since recession hit

Continued lag in domestic demand left retail sales barely changed from September to October, remaining well down on last year.

Retailers will hope that the Christmas sales season brings more footfall - as the value of retail sales remains at its lowest since the recession bit.
Retailers will hope that the Christmas sales season brings more footfall - as the value of retail sales remains at its lowest since the recession bit.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE VOLUME of retail sales recorded in Ireland was virtually unchanged in October, as ongoing weak levels of domestic demand kept sales at close to their lowest point since the economy collapsed.

Data published by the Central Statistics Office showed that its Retail Sales Index – the measure of the volume of sales recorded, as distinct from their value – rose by 0.1 points from to 91.1 in October.

When the value of those sales was taken into account, the index was unchanged at 86.5 – remaining at its lowest point of the modern era.

At the same point last year, the volume index was at 94.8 – some 3.7 points higher than now – while the value index is now 3.3 points lower than its value of October 2010.

When motor trades are excluded from the volume index, the moderate gain turns into a 0.2 point decrease, with books and newspapers showing the highest month-on-month decrease as sales fell 2.8 per cent.

Department stores (-1.9 per cent) and electrical goods (-1.7 per cent) also saw sales take a significant dive, though sales of fuel (+1.7 per cent), furniture and lighting (+1.3 per cent) and motors (+0.9 per cent) were all up.

Last month’s indices marked a modern low in both the value and volume ranks – a lull which is continued in the value index.

Retail sales are down around 20 per cent from their peak of 2007, while the value of those sales is down by over a quarter.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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