Back to school buying brings marginal increase in retail sales for August

Book, newspaper and stationery sales were up 28 per cent in August
Back to school buying brings marginal increase in retail sales for August

Retail sales rose slightly in August, increasing by 2 per cent according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), but remained 5.6 per cent below levels recorded in the same month last year.

Purchases ahead of the return to school in September likely account for the 28 per cent increase in sales of books, newspapers and stationery, the largest jump noted across all categories.

Bars also noted increased sales towards the end of the summer holidays, rising by 7.5 per cent compared to July, while there were also increases in fuel (up 7.2 per cent), department store (up 6.9 per cent) and other retail sales (up 6.3 per cent) during the same period.

Annually, bars, pharmaceuticals, medical & cosmetic articles, and clothing, footwear & textiles were the only sectors that recorded higher sales this August, however, the CSO noted the 17.7 per cent increase in bar sales in the year was likely on account of Covid-19 restrictions impacting the sector in August 2021.

Motor retail sales rose by 2.3 per cent in the month, but was down 2.6 per cent August last year.

The value of retail sales in the fuel sector increased by 20.5 per cent in the 12-month period to August, while volume fell by 3.5 per cent in the same timeframe, illustrating rising prices since 2021.

Overall, the proportion of retail sales completed online from Irish registered companies was 4.9 per cent, up 0.1 per cent on 2021.

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