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Grocery Sector Struggling Despite Strong Retail Growth In 2015, CSO Figures Reveal

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have revealed that 2015 was generally a good year for Irish Retail, but that the grocery sector is struggling to keep up with the pack, posting a slight fall in sales value for the year.

The Food, Beverages and Tobacco category saw its sales value decline by 0.2% in 2015, even though value increased 0.9% in December when compared to November.

However, volume increased by 1.0%. This suggests that the downward pressure being placed on the sector by discounters and aggressively priced promotions is having a significant impact, with consumers paying less and getting more.

On the other hand, groceries increased in both value and volume in December when compared with November, outperforming the sector as a whole.

Overall, retail sales (excluding Motor Trades) grew by 3.0% in value and 5.9% in volume in 2015. December saw both the value and volume of sales fall by 0.7% compared with November’s figures.

Davy economist David McNamara highlighted in a briefing that overall sales volumes are up 2% on their previous peak in December 2007, but values are down 14% since then, "implying 15.5% deflation in retail prices over the period".

McNamara also noted that "tax cuts will hit pay packets in January and are worth 0.5% of aggregate household disposable incomes", and so expects 2016 to be "another positive year for Irish retail".

© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Brian Dermody

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