Retail sales were flat in December as nervous shoppers held back

Retail sales were flat in December as the first restrictions-free Christmas since 2019 failed to bring a spending boom for retailers.

Sales volume for the month was flat compared to November, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Sales volume in November was down 1.4 percent from the level recorded in October.

Excluding engine sales, December volume was down 1.8 percent.

Overall, the total value of sales in December was 0.5 percent higher than in November.

In 2022, annual retail sales growth remained subdued, with sales volume increasing by 0.5 percent for the year. The value of retail sales in 2022 increased by 8.3 percent during this period.

When motor sales are subtracted from the annual total, volume increased 0.1 percent, value increased 7.9 percent.

December bar sales were up 54.7 percent compared to the previous December, but the CSO warned that this is due to the introduction of restrictions due to the Omicron variant for Christmas 2021 compared to a low base.

Pub sales remained below pre-pandemic levels in December 2022, according to CSO data. Sales fell 12.5 percent compared to February 2020, the month before the pandemic.

Sales of clothing grew 7.7 percent in 2022, while sales of electrical appliances rose 7.2 percent last year.

The volume of food, beverage and tobacco sales fell by 13 percent in 2022. Food prices have soared over the past year, with food inflation in Ireland reaching 15.4 per cent in December. This remains the highest level since records began.

Demand for home renovations, which was particularly evident at the start of the pandemic, also slowed. Sales of furniture and lighting fell 12.7 percent in 2022, while hardware purchases also fell 10.1 percent.

On a monthly basis, apparel and footwear saw the biggest declines, with sales falling 16.8 percent. This was followed by sales of electrical appliances and furniture, which fell 7.7 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively. Retail sales were flat in December as nervous shoppers held back

Fry Electronics Team

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