Retails sales increase in September
Retail sales increased by 1.3pc in September when motor trades are excluded, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office.
The largest monthly volume increases were recorded in the furniture and lighting sector, which increased by almost 5pc, and electrical goods, which recorded a sales increase of 3.4pc during the month.
However, motor trades during September plummeted 18pc, and are down 20pc overall in the year, as the weakness in sterling entices consumers to buy cars from the UK.
When motor trades are included overall the volume of retail sales decreased by 2.4pc in September.
Annually retail sales are up 1.2pc so far this year including motor trades.
Looking at the value of retail sales, there was a decrease of 4.4pc in the value of retail sales in September when compared with August, and an annual decrease in the value of retail sales of 1.6pc.
However, again when motor trades are excluded then the value of retail sales increases 0.8pc month-on-month and 4.8pc year-on-year.
"Retail sales remain erratic on a monthly basis and are still swinging back and forth, but the underlying trend is positive," Alan McQuaid, economist at Merrion, said.
Mr McQuaid went on to say that while most attention has been on new car sales in the past couple of years, which will be lower this year than last year, personal spending in other areas has picked up over the same period and is becoming more broad-based.
"Even allowing for the weakness in sterling, which has enticed some shoppers to spend in Northern Ireland, retail sales in the Republic have held up quite well," he said.