Irish annual retail sales volumes excluding a persistent Brexit-related fall in car purchases remained at their highest level in a year in June despite a sharp monthly fall in the headline index, central statistics office data showed on Friday.
Overall retail sales volumes fell 4.8% month-on-month but were up 4.1% annually, the highest mark this year. Overall sales have been subdued by consumers importing more used cars due to the sharp fall in the value of sterling against the euro in the past year.
Excluding cars, "core" sales expanded by 0.8% month-on-month and were 7.1% higher on the year as the domestic economy continued to grow strongly. The value of core sales still lagged, however, and were 3.5% up year-on-year.
Commenting on the figures today, Merrion Stockbrokers said, "Personal spending growth is expected to be positive again in 2017, boosted by a further fall in unemployment, but with the increase in headline sales likely to be lower than last year. The early indications are that new car sales this year will be down on 2016, but other areas of expenditure will pick up. Indeed, excluding motor trades, a higher retail sales rise than 2016 is anticipated."
They added, "Taking all the factors into account, we are now forecasting headline retail sales volume growth of 3.0-3.5% in 2017. Meanwhile, “core” sales are projected to be 6.5-7.0% higher in the year." (Reuters)