Car sales push retail sales sharply higher again

The volume of annual retail sales rose sharply again last month due to another surge in car sales, jumping 7.5% on an annual basis, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show today.

The volume of retail sales rose by 2.8% in the month

The CSO said that when the increase in motor trades was excluded, retail sales rose by 0.5% on a monthly basis, while they were 0.4% lower than April last year.

Today’s figures show that the largest annual volume growth was in motor trades, which jumped by 18.1%, while sales of books, newspapers and stationery were up 5.8% and fuel sales rose by 5.5%.

Meanwhile sales of food, beverages and tobacco in specialised stores slowed by 7.8%, while furniture and lighting were down 6.4% and sales of hardware, paints and glass fell by 2.9% on an annual basis.

The CSO said the largest monthly volume increases were recorded in bars, which rose by 14%, while car sales increased by 10.3% and clothing, footwear and textiles sales were up 9.5%.

The highest monthly volume decreases were in Other Retail Sales – which includes the likes of carpets, music and video recordings, games and toys, flowers, plants, seeds, fertilisers, pet food and jewellery – and which sank 21.1%.

Furniture & Lighting sales were down 4.7% and Department Stores sales slowed by 2.7%.

Today’s CSO figures also show that the value of retail sales grew by 6.2% in the month and by 13.9% on the same time last year.

Meanwhile, the proportion of retail sales transacted online – from Irish registered companies – fell to 5% in April compared with 5.8% in March 2023.

The figure had stood at 4.9% in April 2022 and at 10.1% in April 2021.

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