Business

Friday 22 August 2014

Motor trade powers 8.9pc retail sales increase

Colm Kelpie

Published 28/02/2014 | 13:00

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Motor trades were up by a massive 28.8pc between last month and January 2013
Motor trades were up by a massive 28.8pc between last month and January 2013

CAR buyers are helping to drive a surge in retail sales.

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The volume of retail sales increased 2.3pc in January compared with the previous month, and was 8.9pc higher over the year.

Motor trades were up by a massive 28.8pc between last month and January 2013.

But when you strip out motor sales, there was actually a 1pc decrease between January and December, and the annual increase fell back to 2.7pc.

And when you strip out both the motor and bar trade, the value of sales only increased by 0.7pc over the year. This signals that while people are buying, they’re likely doing so at discounted prices.

Experts, however, have said the figures show consumer spending is strengthening.

Stockbrokers Davy hailed the figures as exceptionally strong.

“The underlying picture is that consumer spending continues to strengthen, albeit not as spectacularly as headline 8.9pc growth suggests,” said Conal MacCoille.

The biggest monthly increases were in car sales, up 6.3pc, and furniture and lighting was up 0.8pc.

The sectors with the largest monthly decreases were department stores, down 4.6pc in volume terms compared with December, pharmaceuticals, medical and cosmetics, down 4.1pc and books, newspapers and stationary, which fell 3.7pc.

Goodbody stockbrokers said that positive trends in employment and the property market, coupled with the exit of the troika continue to have a positive impact on consumer confidence.

“However, data also released this week; show that earnings continued to fall in the final quarter of  2013.

“In addition, the high level of debt that Irish households are carrying will curb consumer spending over the coming years.”

Alan McQuaid of Merrion Stockbrokers saud they believe consumer spending will help drive growth in the economy this year.

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