Irish Retail Sales Now Up 8.1% In A Year But Warning Brexit Could Hit Consumer Confidence

Ireland’s retail sector is continuing on the road to recovery with latest figures showing that retail sales were up 8.1% in May when compared to the same month of 2015.

On a monthly basis, data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed volumes were 0.7% higher in May when compared to the previous month, and up 1.2% when Motor Trades are excluded. The strongest performing categories were hardware, paints and glass category, where sales rose 14.3%, while sales of books, newspapers and stationery rose by 10.1%. Bar sales increased by 1.3%, although sales of electrical goods were down 1.9%.

Analysts said the figures were a bit stronger than expected, and that the underlying trend was positive despite month-to-month volatility. However, economists warned that last week’s Brexit vote and the uncertain economic impact could hit consumer confidence and result in lower personal spending in the months ahead.

Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke commented: “The UK’s decision to leave the European Union will have both short term and long term consequences for retail trade in Ireland,” adding that there is likely to be a return of cross border trade with Northern Ireland, driven by the devaluation of sterling against the euro.