Fall in car buyers send retail sales downward
RETAIL sales dropped during August after car buyers had sent sales soaring during the summer, figures revealed.
The latest statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the volume of sales last month were down 2.9pc on July.
By far the biggest monthly drop came in motor trades, likely linked to a spike in sales caused by the first "142" licence plates going on sale in July.
Car sales this July were the highest ever in that month, with 18,776 sold, according to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry. That figure is a 61pc increase on July 2013.
By the end of August, car sales in 2014 were up 30pc on the whole on 2013 but they showed a month on month drop.
"By our recent experience it looks set to be a very good year, what we should be seeing more and more as the new plate system matures, is we should gradually move away from the majority of new car sales happening in quarter one," said AA Ireland director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan. He expects the average age of the Irish car to continue to drift upwards.
"By the time we got to 2008, we had the youngest car fleet in Europe... and since then we've been buying too few cars to naturally replace the fleet."
Excluding motor trades, the volume of sales in August was up 0.7pc on July.
The biggest increases were in furniture and lighting, up 11pc.