Retail sales surge in November on Black Friday boost
The volume of retail sales increased by 2.2pc in November compared with October and there was an increase of 9.3pc in the annual figure.
If car sales are are excluded, there was an increase of 2.8pc in the volume of retail sales in November 2015 when compared with October 2015 and there was an increase of 8.9pc on an annual basis.
The biggest gains were experienced in the electrical goods sector, up 13.6pc as the effects of Black Friday and Cyber Monday kicked in.
Department stores sales were up 7.4pc.
On the flip side, car sales were down as was the bar trade.
"Black Friday likely explains the surge in retail volumes in November, with retailers marketing heavily around the day," said Davy analyst David McNamara.
"This is reflected in exceptional growth in electrical goods and department store sales during the month. "Looking ahead, anecdotal evidence suggests that December was the best Christmas season since the recession with Retail Excellence Ireland signalling a 3.6pc rise in trading on December 2014."
ISME, which represents small to medium sized businesses, welcomed the growth in sales.
However, it warned that retail jobs are in danger because wages are rising – despite the fact that retail staff’s pay is among the lowest in the workforce.
It called on the government to prioritise growth of the retail sector, particularly among firms outside Dublin “who have yet to benefit tangibly from the recovery”.
Estate agent Savills said the weather had failed to “put dampers” on the retail sector, although footfall figures suggested people postponed their shopping to later in December.
Director of Research, John McCartney, said all the signs indicate that 2015 saw the strongest pre-Christmas trading for many years.
The Central Statistics Office research shows the volume of retail sales increased by 2pc in November, compared to October, while the value rose by over 1pc.
When motor sales are excluded, the volume of sales was up 8.9pc in the year, while the value rose 4.9pc.