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Retail sales rebound in December – CSO

The volume of retail sales increased by 5.8% on an annual basis in December compared to annual growth of 1.4% in November, the Central Statistics Office said today.

Today’s figures show that retail sales volumes rose by 3.6% in December from November, with sales of food, beverages and tobacco; and cars showing the largest increase.

Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, has welcomed the continued growth in retail sales.

“Retailers had a broadly positive Christmas with sustained growth across most of the major categories,” said Arnold Dillon, Retail Ireland Director. “The volume of sales is growing significantly faster than the value of retail sales, which means consumers are getting more for their money. Intense competition is keeping prices low. This is good news for the consumer, but it makes for tough trading conditions.

“To safeguard jobs in the sector, the next government must tackle key factors driving up retail costs, including rising commercial rates and insurance premiums,” he said.

The CSO noted that Black Friday sales were included in the reporting period, which covered the five weeks from November 24 to December 28. ‘Black Friday’ had been included in the November reporting period in 2018.

The CSO also said that when volatile car sales are excluded, the volume of retail sales increased by 2.8% in December on a monthly basis while they were up 5% when compared with December 2018.

Today’s CSO figures show that sales of food, beverages and tobacco jumped by 11.7% in December while car sales motored 5.3% higher. 

The figures also show other Retail Sales – which include carpets, games and toys, flowers and plants, pet food and jewellery – fell by 10% while sales of books and newspapers and stationery were down 3% last month.

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