Irish retail sales volumes posted their weakest annual growth in four months with falls in vehicle, fuel and food sales pushing year-on-year growth down to 1.1%, data from the Central Statistics Office showed on Friday.
Annual growth had topped 4% in each of the previous three months but the 2.4% month-on-month drop in May was the sharpest in more than a year.
Excluding car sales, which have steadily fallen since Brexit as consumers import more used cars due to the sharp fall in the value of sterling, core retail sales volumes posted an annual increase of 3.6%, still down sharply from 6.2% a month earlier.
The sector with the largest monthly volume decrease was Food, Beverages & Tobacco, which was down 5.3%.
There was an annual increase of 0.6% when compared with May 2018.
If vehicle sales are excluded, there was a decrease of 1.6% in the value of retail sales in the month and an increase of 2.1% in the annual figure.
From March to May, the value of retail sales rose by 0.4% (up 1.5% excluding vehicle), while the volume of sales also increased by 0.7% on the previous three month period (up 2% excluding vehicle).
In annual terms, the value of retail sales increased by 3.2% (up 4.6% excluding vehicle) in the three month period this year compared to the same last year.
In volume terms, sales increased by 3.6% (up 6% excluding vehicle) in the three months in 2019 compared to the previous year.