Retail sales decreased by 1.7% in July 2021 when compared to June 2021, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.
According to the research, on an annual basis, retail volumes were 5.2% higher than in July 2020.
Retail sales for July 2021 were 14% higher when compared to two years earlier (July 2019).
In July 2021, the largest monthly volume increases in sales were recorded in Bars which increased by 18.6% and Electrical Goods which was up by 5.8%.
The sectors which experienced the largest decreases in the month were Books, Newspapers & Stationery, which fell significantly by 21.6%.
Department Stores fell by 17.2% during the period and Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles by 3.9% during the period.
Highest Annual Volume Increases
The sectors with the highest annual volume increases were Department Stores which increased by 16.7%, Bars by 15.8%, Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles by 12.9%.
Compared to July 2019 (two years earlier and pre-COVID-19), the volume of retail sales in July 2021 was 14.0% higher.
Several sectors showed significant changes compared to their corresponding level of sales in July 2019.
Four sectors showed decreases, such as Bars (-39.7%), Books, Newspapers & Stationery (-31.5%), Fuel (-7.0%) and Department Stores (-0.7%).
All other sectors had a volume of sales in July 2021 which exceeded July 2019 levels, the CSO data indicated.
The highest increases were seen in Motor Trades (+21.7%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (+16.7%), Electrical Goods (+15.6%) and Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+15.1%).