Friday 23 March 2018

Fall-off in car sales slows retail activity growth

Department stores recorded a month-on-month volume increase of 8.3pc (Stock image)
Department stores recorded a month-on-month volume increase of 8.3pc (Stock image)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The volume of retail sales decreased by 0.6pc in the month of April, seasonally adjusted figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

The fall was led by motor trades, which fell 1.7pc in the month.

However, if motor trades are excluded, there was an increase of 0.4pc in the volume of retail sales in April, when compared with the previous month, and there was an annual increase of 6.4pc.

The other sector which recorded a decrease month-on-month was books, newspapers & stationery, which was down 1.2pc.

The sector which recorded the largest month-on-month volume increase was department stores, up 8.3pc, suggesting that the growth in online retail has yet to fully affect the high street stores.

Volume increases were also recorded in the furniture and lighting sector, up 3.9pc, while volume increases in bars was also up month-on-month.

There was a decrease of 0.9pc in the value of retail sales in April 2017, when compared with March 2017, and an annual decrease of 0.8pc.

However, again if we exclude motor trades, then the value of retail sales actually increased month-on-month by 0.2pc, and annually by 3.4pc.

Commenting on the figures, Merrion Capital economist, Alan McQuaid said that overall consumers are spending and they are more confident about their outlook, not withstanding their concerns over Brexit.

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