Headline retail sales down 0.9pc in April
APRIL retail sales were down 0.9pc on the month in volume terms but 6.8pc higher compared with the same period last year, new figures from the CSO show.
In the first four months of the year, sales were 7.5pc higher on average than the same period last year.
And excluding car sales, they were up 1.6pc in the month and were 4.6pc higher in the year.
"Overall personal expenditure on goods and services for 2013 as a whole was negative again, falling by 1.1pc in real terms, the fourth annual decline in the past five years," said Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Merrion Stockbrokers.
"However, 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/GNP growth, and the robust data for the January-April period clearly support this view."
One of the biggest increases was in household goods like furniture but car sales were down.