The volume of retail sales fell by 8.1 per cent in the year to July as sales of motors, food, beverages, and tobacco all saw double digit reductions despite the easing of the Covid-19 emergency, the latest data from the Central Statistics Office shows .
Four sectors showed an annual increase in the volume of sales. The largest of these was in bars where sales soared by 56.8 percent compared with July 2021 when some Covid-19 restrictions still applied.
However, bar sales remained 8.4 per cent lower than its pre-Covid-19 level in February 2020.
Clothing and footwear (4.3 per cent), department stores (4.2 per cent), and furniture and lighting (1.1 per cent) also showed an annual increase in volume.
The sectors which showed the largest annual reductions in volume were other retail sales (-21.5 per cent), motor trades (-16.2 per cent), food, beverages and tobacco (-10.9 per cent), and fuel (-7.5 per cent) .
The volume of retail sales excluding motor trades fell by 1.6 per cent in the month and dropped by 3.5 per cent in the year when compared with July 2021.
The volume of retail sales in July was at the same level as pre-Covid February 2020.
The proportion of retail sales transacted online was 4.4 per cent in July compared with 5 per cent in June, 4.8 per cent in July 2021, and 4.6 per cent in July 2020.
The value of retail sales in the fuel sector rose by 23.1 per cent in the year to July while the corresponding volume fell by 7.5 per cent over the same period, reflecting higher prices compared with the previous year.
The largest monthly volume increase in sales was recorded in bars (23 percent), electrical goods (3 percent), and furniture and lighting (2 percent).
The largest monthly volume was in books, newspapers and stationery (-27.2 per cent), pharmaceuticals, medical and cosmetic articles (-6.8 per cent), other retail sales (-5.5 per cent), and motor trades (-4.9 per cent). ).
Compared with February 2020, the volume of all retail sales in July was unchanged.
The largest increases in the volume of retail sales in July since pre-Covid-19 were in clothing and footwear (21.5 per cent), pharmaceuticals, medical and cosmetic articles (19.7 per cent), and hardware, paints and glass (12.7 per cent ).
The largest volume decreases during the same period in books, newspapers and stationery (-42.2 per cent), other retail sales (-12.1 per cent), fuel (-10.2 per cent), and bars (-8.4 per cent).
The value of retail sales was 0.1 per cent lower in July than in June and was 0.4 per cent lower than a year earlier.
Excluding motor trades, the value of retail sales decreased by 1.7 per cent in the month and increased by 5.7 per cent on an annual basis.