Better-than-expected increase in retail sales in December
RETAIL sales grew by 0.6pc in December boosted by sales of make-up and books while the annual increase was 3pc.
Sales of books and stationery were up 4.2pc in December and when car sales are excluded the volume was up 1.3pc in the month, although there is no real pattern of consistent growth.
Sales of clothing and footwear fell by 1.1pc.
Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said: "Still, we remain optimistic that buoyed by an improving labour market, consumer spending will this year for the first time since 2010 make a positive contribution to GDP growth," he added.