Monday, January 7, 2013

Retail Sales slip

There isn’t much that goes to plan in the Irish economy but a monthly drop in November’s retail sales after the fillip offered by the digital switchover at the end of October went as expected.  This is from the November Retail Sales Index published by the CSO today.

Ex Motor Trades Index to November 2012

Retail sales had been on an upward trajectory since July and are still well ahead of the June levels but the annual growth that was seen in the three months is no longer present.  In order for the annual change to remain above zero for December, monthly growth of around 0.5% will have to be seen.

Annual Change Ex Motor Trade Index to November 2012

The monthly changes continue to be volatile and as indicated above November recorded the first monthly declines since June.

Monthly Change Ex Motor Trade Index to November 2012

Although electrical goods showed the expected decline (down 18% by volume on the month) there were falls in nine of the 13 business categories reported by the CSO.  Monthly volume falls in excess of 1% were also recorded for:

  • Food beverages & Tobacco –1.7%
  • Fuel – 3.2%
  • Books, Newspapers and Stationery –1.5%
  • Other Retail Sales –1.8%

The categories showing a monthly volume increase were:

  • Non-Specialised Stores +0.1%
  • Department Stores +2.4%
  • Furniture and Lighting +2.7%
  • Bars +3.2%

There has been a lot of talk of strong retail sales in the run to Christmas and in the post-Christmas sales.  It will be next month’s RSI before this will be seen.  Retail Excellence Ireland have been particularly bullish in the past few weeks but at the end of November (the time the above data was being collected) they issued this press release.

Irish retailers are predicting a drop of -0.47% in Christmas 2012 Trading, according to a survey published today by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), Ireland’s largest retail industry trade body.

The December 2012 and January 2013 Retail Sales Index releases will show us whether things went to this plan.

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