Retail Ireland have said that the retail sales figures published by the Central Statistics Office today show that the sector is "extremely depressed".
Director of Retail Ireland Torlach Denihan said: “The retail sales figures published today are disappointing and show that the sector remains extremely depressed.
"Core retail sales volumes, excluding cars, fuel and bars, were down -5.5% in July by comparison with July 2008.
"More significantly the value of sales in July was down -11%, showing how prices have been cut across the board by retailers.
"Sales of big ticket items were in deep negative territory in July - electrical goods (-19.5%), furniture (-36.1%) and hardware (-20.6%). There has been a marginal improvement in department store sales volumes of 0.2%, which is a positive development, but again the value of sales fell by -6.5%.Food sales volumes are down -4% and, reflecting falling prices, the value of sales is down -6.7%.
"Retail Ireland welcomes the statement by the Minister for Finance that there are not going to be tax increases in the Budget."