Chambers Ireland has today blamed last's month's decline in retail sales on the negative effects of the rise in VAT in Budget 2012.
CSO figures released today showed that the volume of retail sales declined by 1.5% in April 2012 when compared with March 2012, with an annual decrease of 2.7%.
Speaking this morning, Seán Murphy, Chambers Ireland deputy chief executive said: “The increase in VAT at the beginning of the year is clearly having a detrimental effect on consumer spending habits.
"The retail sector is the heart of the domestic economy and the Government must do whatever it can to support its growth and recovery.
"We urge the Government to focus on cost containment measures in the upcoming budget rather than raising taxes thereby supporting the economy through 2013."