CSO: Annual retail sales still up despite tighter Covid-19 restrictions

CSO figures also reflect a shift to online transactions
CSO: Annual retail sales still up despite tighter Covid-19 restrictions

October retail sales suffered a small 0.7% monthly decrease from September. Picture: Niall Carson/PA

The volume of retail sales fell on a monthly basis for the first time since April, as the tightening of Covid-19 restrictions across the country forced many retailers to shut their doors.

However, despite retail sales suffering a small 0.7% monthly decrease from September, last month’s sales were still 8.1% cent higher than the same period in 2019, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

When motor trades are excluded, the volume of retail sales decreased by 0.2% in October compared to the previous month, but increased by 9% on a like-for-like annual basis.

The CSO figures also reflect a shift to online transactions, with the proportion of retail sales from Irish registered companies transacted online increasing to 6.1% in October from 4.5% in September.

This is below the high of 15.3% recorded in April at the height of the first lockdown.

The value of retail sales was 3.2% lower in October 2020 than in September, while the annual change in the value of retail sales increased by 4.2%. 

Excluding motor trades, the value of retail sales decreased by 1.3% in the month and grew by 3.1% on an annual basis.

Non-essential retailers are expected to get the green light to reopen on Tuesday as the Government announces its plan for lifting Level 5 restrictions later this afternoon.

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