August figures point to better than expected retail recovery
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today welcomed the continued recovery in retail sales evidenced in the August retail sales numbers release by the CSO this morning.
Retail sales values, excluding bars and car sales, increased by 3.3% in the year to the end of August pointing to a continuing improvement in consumer confidence in the first eight months of the year.
There was also strong volume growth across the retail sector in August with volume increasing 0.9% in the month and by 7.7% in the year to the end of August 2015. Amongst the best performing categories were furniture and lighting, electrical goods and hardware, paints and glass. It should be noted however that despite strong performance by these sectors, they remain up to 30% behind 2005 levels.
Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: “It is good to see 11 of the 13 categories of retail as measured by the CSO numbers grow in value in the year to the end of August 2015. We can now have real hope that the retail sector will out perform initial estimates of consumer spending growth of 2.5% in the full year 2015. With expectations of further tax cuts in the upcoming budget, there is now real belief that the sector can continue to grow in line with improving consumer spending power.”
“It should be noted, however, that volume growth remains more than double that of value growth. This disparity remains a concern and will make it difficult for retail businesses to recover the currently increasing trading costs, in the marketplace” said Mr Burke.