Budget VAT hike leads to 3.7pc drop in sales in January
RETAIL sales in January fell by 3.7pc from December, the first monthly fall since September, the Central Statistics Office said today.
A slump in motor sales of 21.3pc was the main factor – sales were down 0.8pc compared to January 2011.
But overall sales still fell by 1.6pc in January, giving an annual drop of 2.7pc, in the wake of the Budget VAT hike which saw the standard rate go from 21pc to 23pc.
There was a sharp fall of 18.4pc in sales at department stores and sales of electrical goods dropped 12pc.
Sales of clothing and footwear were down 5.7pc, and bar sales dropped 3.5pc.
Furniture sales were up by 5pc and food and drink sales increased by 2pc.
The value of sales, which takes prices into account, also fell by 3.7pc in January, giving an annual fall of 0.3pc.