Brexit vote and online sales hit retailers
Irish retail sales fell in December once car sales are stripped out, with signs cross-border shopping amid Black Friday sales hit activity in the run-up to Christmas.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that when the motor trades are excluded, there was a decrease of 2.7pc in the volume of retail sales in December 2016 compared to November.
December is traditionally the busiest month of the year.
Sales were higher in December 2016 compared to a year earlier.
The data may be a sign that so called Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in November hit activity in the run up to Christmas.
The sector with by far the largest monthly volume decreases were electrical goods - down 22.7pc.
"The latest retail sales data suggests that the traditional Christmas shopping period was a relatively lacklustre affair in Ireland," Goodbody analysts noted.
They said sales were hit by a notable increase in cross-border shopping to the North and internet sales as a result of weak sterling since the Brexit vote in June.
However, analysts said there was also some weakening in consumer confidence in the second half of last year, despite the growing economy and declining unemployment levels.