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Retail sales rise 1.7pc in March

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The volume of retail sales rose 1.7pc last month from the month before, while sales were up 1pc in the year to March.

Excluding car sales, the volume of retail sales last month remained flat, the data showed.

In value terms, retail sales dipped by 0.7pc in the month, but were up 1.6pc in the year to March, illustrating that inflation – a measure of the cost of living – is still having an impact.

Electrical goods recorded the largest monthly decline, decreasing by almost 5pc in March.

There was also a monthly decline in hardware sales of 4.7pc, while purchases at bars dipped by 3.9pc from February.

Furniture and lightning sales also fell 3.8pc across the month, the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show.

However, department stores recorded a rise in spending in March, with sales rising 15.7pc. Books, newspapers and stationery purchases were up 4.4pc, while car sales increased by 3.4pc.

Today’s News in 90 seconds – 29th April 2024

On an annual basis, food, beverage and tobacco sales volume in specialised stores declined by 5.3pc in the year to last month.

Meanwhile, book, newspapers and stationery sales were up 9.7pc year-on-year, the largest annual growth recorded in the report.

The CSO also reported that inflation slowed to 1.6pc in the year to April, down from 1.7pc recorded a month earlier.

While prices are continuing to rise, the rate of increase is slowing, according to the analysis.

Falcon AM, the asset manager for Blanchardstown Centre in Dublin, said that sales this year are “generally on par with or marginally above 2023”.

“Beauty and cosmetics retailers are reporting the largest growth, at an average of 3pc on the same period in 2023, and fashion retailers are reporting between 0.25pc and 1pc year-on-year like-for-like increases in sales,” director Bernard Nulty said.

Online sales from Irish-registered companies amounted to 5pc of all sales last month, up slightly from 4.9pc in February, according to the CSO.

Footfall at Blanchardstown Centre has surpassed five million so far this year.

“This high footfall reflects the settlement in the percentage of online sales from Irish domiciled businesses, which peaked at 20pc in April 2020 and is now down to a more normalised 5pc,” Mr Nulty said.

Busy hours are now between 1pm and 4pm, which Mr Nulty attributed to hybrid working.

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