| 12.9°C Dublin

Retail sales flat in December as nervous shoppers held back


Stock image

Stock image

The pub trade was much busier than a year earlier

The pub trade was much busier than a year earlier


Stock image

Retail sales remained flat in December as the first restriction-free Christmas since 2019 failed to deliver a spending boom for retailers.

The volume of sales was unchanged across the month compared to November, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The volume of sales in November had declined by 1.4pc from levels recorded in October.

Excluding motor sales, the volume declined by 1.8pc in December.

Overall, the total value of sales in December was 0.5pc higher than November.

In 2022, annual growth of retail sales remained muted, with volume of sales up 0.5pc across the year. The value of retail sales in 2022 rose by 8.3pc in this period.

When motor sales are removed from the annual total, volumes rose by 0.1pc, with value up by 7.9pc.

Bar sales in December were up by 54.7pc in the year to the previous December but the CSO warned that it compared to a low base due to the introduction of restrictions due to the Omicron variant in Christmas 2021.

Sales at the pub in December 2022 remained below pre-pandemic levels, according to CSO data. Sales were down 12.5pc compared to February 2020, the month before the pandemic.

Clothing sales were up 7.7pc in 2022, while electrical goods sales rose by 7.2pc last year.

The volume of food, beverages and tobacco sales declined by 13pc in 2022. Food prices soared last year, with grocery inflation in Ireland 15.4pc in December. This remains the highest level on record.

The demand for home renovations, which was particularly evident at the beginning of the pandemic, also slowed. Furniture and lighting sales were down 12.7pc in 2022, while hardware purchases also fell by 10.1pc.

On a monthly basis, the largest decreases were seen in clothing and footwear, with sales down 16.8pc. This was followed by electrical goods and furniture sales, which were down 7.7pc and 5.7pc respectively.

Most Watched