Irish retail sales volumes increased by 4.5% in the year to October and by 6% when car sales are excluded, data from the Central Statistics Office showed on Tueday.
On a monthly basis, retail sales were flat, and fell 0.3% with auto sales excluded. New car sales have fallen this year as some motorists have preferred to import cars from Britain due to the sharp fall in the value of sterling against the euro.
The sectors with the largest monthly volume increases in October were Pharmaceuticals Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+7.3%) and Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (+1.3%). Meanwhile, the retail sectors with the largest monthly decreases were Books, Newspapers and Stationery (-2.5%), Electrical Goods (-2.1%) and Other Retail Sales (-2.1%).
Commenting on the figures, Merrion Stockbrokers said, "Even allowing for the weakness in sterling since last year’s “Brexit” referendum, which has enticed some shoppers to spend in Northern Ireland, retail sales in the Republic have held up quite well. Indeed, VAT receipts for the year-to-date are running ahead of official Department of Finance expectations."
They added, "However, with the pound still very weak in relative terms, the worry for retailers is that more and more shoppers will head North between now and year-end, especially for the busy Christmas period." (Reuters)