Retail sales in Ireland showed 4.6% annual increase in December 2019, compared with the same period the year previous, the latest figures from the Central Statistic Office (CSO) showed.
According to the CSO's Retail Sales Index, the value of retail sales in December 2019, showed a 3.4% increase when compared with November 2019.
The volume of retail sales in Ireland increased by 3.6% in December when compared to November on a seasonally adjusted basis and increased by 5.8% on an annual basis.
The sectors with the largest month on month volume increases were Food, Beverages & Tobacco (11.7%) and Motor Trades (5.3%).
Retail Ireland welcomed the continued growth in retail sales as evidenced by the December sales numbers recently released by the CSO.
“Retailers had a broadly positive Christmas with sustained growth across most of the major categories," said Arnold Dillon, director, Retail Ireland.
"The volume of sales is growing significantly faster than the value of retail sales, which means consumers are getting more for their money."
Dillion highlighted that intense competition is keeping prices low, which is good news for the consumer, but it makes for tough trading conditions.
"To safeguard jobs in the sector, the next government must tackle key factors driving up retail costs, including rising commercial rates and insurance premiums," he suggested.
December 2020 Forecast
The Ibec group that represents the retail sector said that looking ahead at December 2020, costs are continuing to rise and the risk of a disruptive Brexit at the end of the year are significant concerns for the industry.
“While we have a Withdrawal Agreement, the future relationship between the EU and UK is unknown and the deadline is tight," Dillon said.
"There is the very real prospect of significant trade barriers between Britain and Ireland from January 2021 and retail supply chains are particularly exposed."