Retail sales in Ireland fell in July as consumers struggled with rising costs. The volume of retail sales declined 1.6 percent since June and declined 8.1 percent in the year to July.
Despite the slowdown in retail sales over the last month, July sales were at the same level as in February 2020 before the pandemic began, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Some categories saw sales fall as consumers faced rising costs.
Purchases of books, newspapers and stationery fell by more than a quarter in July compared to the previous month, while sales of medicines, medicines and cosmetics also fell 6.8 percent.
Other categories that saw sales decline last month included auto dealerships and department stores.
Consumers also faced rising fuel costs compared to a year ago. The value of fuel sales increased 23.1 percent in the year to July 2022, while the corresponding amount of fuel sold fell 7.5 percent over the same period.
Consumers also restricted purchases of food, drink and tobacco, with sales falling 10 percent over the year. Food inflation rose to a 14-year high of 9.5 percent in August.
The share of online retail sales also fell slightly to 4.4 percent from 5 percent in June.
However, online shopping remains a popular choice for consumers when it comes to groceries. According to Kantar, over 16 per cent of the Irish population are now buying their groceries online to track spending and reduce fuel costs.
Despite the onslaught of rising costs, consumers also took the opportunity to socialize in July’s fine weather, with bars posting a 23 per cent sales growth between July and July.
This was the largest monthly increase in volume reported by the CSO this month.
That demand was reflected in annual growth, with sales of bars up 56.8 percent for the year.
This comparison is on a low base, however, as some restrictions were still in place as of July last year, according to the CSO.
“Despite this strong year-on-year recovery, February 2020 bar sales remained 8.4% below pre-COVID-19 levels,” said statistician Stephanie Kelleher.
Purchases of clothing and footwear rose 4.3 percent in the year to July, while sales of furniture and lighting rose slightly by 1.1 percent compared to last July.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/retail-sales-dip-in-july-despite-rise-in-socialising-41944443.html Retail sales fall in July despite increased conviviality