Business Irish

Friday 14 December 2018

Pharma sector sees largest sales volume increase but overall monthly retail sales flat - CSO

Pharma sector had the largest monthly volume increase of 9.3pc
Pharma sector had the largest monthly volume increase of 9.3pc
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

The volume of retail sales stayed flat in October, while an annual comparison saw an increase of 5pc.

Excluding motor sales, the volume of sales actually dropped by 1.1pc in comparison with September, with an annual increase of 4.2pc.

According to the latest figures from the CSO, pharma, medical and cosmetics was the sector with the largest monthly volume increase of 9.3pc.

Another seasonal expenditure was evident prior to Christmas as sales volume in the furniture and lighting sector rose 2.8pc from September.

Meanwhile, perhaps before the parties begin, bars saw a drop of 4.6pc and other retail sales decreased 19.8pc in a monthly sales volume comparison.

In terms of the value of retail sales, October saw an increase of 0.1pc compared with September, an annual increase of 5.3pc.

Economist Alan McQuiad said that retail sales continue to remain erratic on a monthly basis and are still swinging back and forth, but the underlying trend is positive.

"Even with the fluctuation in consumer sentiment, overall personal spending has been positive in the past couple of years, boosted by the increase in the numbers employed in the country.

"This is despite the fact that the weakness in sterling since the June 2016 “Brexit” referendum has enticed some shoppers to spend in Northern Ireland.

"What happens on the currency and “Brexit” fronts will be important factors in determining overall consumer spending patterns in the Republic over the next twelve to eighteen months, but we are still expecting to see healthy personal consumption in the Irish economy over the remainder of this year at least and into 2019 as well as things currently stand."

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