Furniture and lighting sales slump by almost 20pc
Sales of furniture and lighting have fallen by almost 20pc, although home improvement items such as hardware and paints are up, according to the latest retail sales figures from the Central Statistics Office.
The volume of sales fell by almost 4pc in June, compared with May, although sales were still up 5.4pc from a year earlier. When motor sales are excluded, there was an increase of 0.4pc in the volume of sales. Many car buyers held off on making a purchase to get a 152 registration.
The sectors that saw the largest sales increases were books, newspapers and stationery (up 5.6pc), hardware, paint and glass (3.9pc), and food, beverages and tobacco (2.1pc).
However, there were big monthly falls in furniture and lighting (down 18.2pc) and the motor trade (8.1pc), while the disappointing summer weather saw clothing, footwear and textiles fall by 2.4pc.
Business group Isme said the "continuous drip feed" of announcements by the Government in relation to increased costs through the minimum wage and parental leave was slowing the economic recovery.