Retail sales increased by 0.9% in February 2022, when compared to January 2022 on a seasonally adjusted basis.
According to the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) Retail Sales Index February 2022, on an annual basis, retail volumes were 2.2% higher than they were in February 2021.
In February 2022, the largest monthly volume increases in sales were recorded in Bars (+13.9%), Hardware, Paints & Glass (+7.0%) and Electrical Goods (+4.8%).
Largest Annual Increases
Commenting on the release, Stephanie Kelleher, statistician, said, “Several sectors showed very large annual increases in the volume of sales, compared with February 2021, when there was a full lockdown, which curtailed non-essential retail and services.”
The volume of sales in Bars rose by 726%, compared to February 2021, the research shows.
Clothing & Footwear saw an annual volume increase (+295%), as did Department Stores (+88.1%) and Books, Newspapers & Stationery (+79.5%).
In these sectors, the annual increase reflects a recovery from a very low base in February 2021, when the country was in a Level 5 lockdown.
The volume of retail sales in February 2022 was 3.1% higher than it was in February 2020.
Highest Recorded Increases
The CSO noted that the highest increases were seen in Clothing & Footwear (+49.0%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco – Specialised Stores (+19.3%) and Electrical Goods (+16.7%).
The largest decreases in the volume of sales in February 2022, when compared to February 2020 levels, were in Bars (-30.2%) and Books, Newspapers & Stationery (-10.1%).
Compared to a year ago, the three sectors that showed the largest reduction in volume were Electrical Goods (-12.9%), Hardware, Paints & Glass (-11.8%) and Non-Specialised Stores – incl. Supermarkets (-8.1%).
Providing further analysis of the figures, Kelleher added, “The impact of price change is reflected in the difference between value and volume.
“In Fuel, for example, the value of sales rose by 46.5% in the year to February 2022, while the volume rose by just 18.1% over the same period – the difference due to higher prices, compared to the previous year.”
The proportion of retail sales transacted online (from Irish-registered companies) was 4.7% in February 2022, compared to 5.6% in January 2022, 11.8% in February 2021, and 3.5% in February 2020.
The largest monthly decreases in the volume of sales were in Department Stores (-5.4%) and Furniture & Lighting (-1.2%), the report showed.