Irish retail sales (excluding cars) data for March show an exceptional year-on-year increase of 8.2% in volume terms but this comparison is significantly flattered by the particular weakness of March 2018 data when Storm Emma significantly curtailed spending.
For the first quarter of 2019, retail sales excluding cars are up a strong 6.0% on the previous year, the strongest pace since late 2017, according to a recently published KBC Economics report.
'Heavier Price Discounting'
The pick-up in the volume of Irish retail sales in quarter one is partly a reflection of 'heavier price discounting'.
The research analysis conducted by Austin Hughes and Shawn Britton showed that in March 2019, there was a monthly rise of 1.2% in the volume of retail sales but this likely reflected a fall in retail prices of 1.1% month on month.
'This correlation would suggest the Irish consumer is strongly price conscious and responding to significant competitive pressures within Irish retailing,' the report authors said in a statement.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.