Retail sales fall for second consecutive month as Covid and inflation fears continue to haunt households

Online purchases accounted for 5.7% of October’s total retail sales volumes, the CSO said
Retail sales fall for second consecutive month as Covid and inflation fears continue to haunt households

Sales fell 1.5% in October, from the previous month, the CSO said, marking the third decline in four months.

Retail sales volumes fell for the second month in a row in October, according to latest CSO figures which seem to support recent surveys suggesting that any uptick in consumer spending and confidence is likely to be short-lived as Covid and inflation fears continue to haunt households.

Sales fell 1.5% in October, from the previous month, the CSO said, marking the third decline in four months.

Other than bars, grocery and books, all categories saw a decline with the biggest drops being a 4.9% fall in the sale of pharmaceutical and medical products, a near 3% drop in fuel sales and a 13% drop in hardware-related sales.

Online purchases accounted for 5.7% of October’s total retail sales volumes, the CSO said. This compared to 4.6% in September and 6% in October of last year.

On a year-on-year basis, retail sales grew by 1.5% in October and were up 9% on the same month in 2019, the CSO said.

However, two surveys in the last week have heavily indicated that consumer confidence is becoming increasingly fragile.

KBC Bank Ireland said its latest monthly findings put confidence at a seven-month low amid increasing Covid case numbers, rising energy costs and renewed Brexit concerns. 

A similar study by Bank of Ireland said mounting Covid uncertainty is rapidly diminishing consumer positivity.

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