Retail sales rise as consumers splash out on clothes and electrical goods

Retail sales soared in November as consumers ditched on apparel, electrical goods and cosmetics in the run-up to Christmas.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show that retail volumes rose 0.6 percent in November compared to the previous month.

On an annual basis, it was up 16.3 percent in November 2020. However, only core retail stores opened in November 2020 as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, making annual comparisons misleading.

However, retail sales in November were 10.9 percent higher than in November 2019 before Covid.

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The sectors with the largest monthly increase in volume in November 2021 were hardware (16.3 percent); clothing and footwear (14.1 per cent). The largest reductions in sales volumes were in bars (-23.3 percent) and furniture and lighting (-12.4%).

The sectors with the highest annual volume increase were bars (800 percent) and apparel and footwear (212 percent) from the lowest level in November 2020.

Many sectors showed significant changes compared to their corresponding sales level in September 2019.

The highest increases were observed in electrical goods (48.7 percent); Apparel and footwear (32 percent), and pharmaceuticals, medical and cosmetic products (28.2 percent).

Despite the recovery, other sectors have so far failed to surpass pre-pandemic sales levels, including bars (where sales are down 29.2 percent from September 2019 levels) and books, newspapers and stationery (where sales are down 11.6 percent) at September levels. 2019).


Treasury returns released earlier this week showed that last year’s value-added tax receipts were 15.4 billion euros, 24 percent higher than the total collected in 2020, reflecting a pickup in consumption as the economic recovery takes hold. The sales tax is one of the strongest indicators of a recovery in consumer activity.

Online retail sales of Irish registered businesses were 6.2 per cent in November 2021 compared to 5.5 per cent in October 2021.

The Afghan Central Statistics Office’s retail data does not capture online transactions through non-Irish registered companies.

Separate revenue data points to a massive rise in tariffs on imported goods after Brexit and an acceleration of e-commerce linked to the pandemic.

Year-end figures released by the agency show that it handled 25.4 million customs declarations on goods imported from abroad in 2021, up from 1.8 million the previous year. About 18.2 million relate to goods being imported from Britain, which is now subject to new rules as a result of Brexit.

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