Retail sales in Ireland have proven resilient in the face of Brexit, rising over the past year by 4.2pc in volume and 2.8pc in value, the latest figures show.
The monthly Retail Sales Index for September found that, in seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales rose by 4.3pc in volume and 3.8pc from the month before.
Independent economist Alan McQuaid said the figures reflect increased purchasing in the run-up to October 31, the latest missed target date for the UK to leave the European Union. The EU agreed over the weekend to extend the deadline to January 31.
“Consumers have had to cope with all these Brexit deadlines. Some sectors appear to have benefited last month as people rushed in to buy things before Brexit happens, the thought being that prices might be dearer on goods after Brexit,” Mr McQuaid told Independent.ie.
In that sense, he said, the latest postponement could boost sales in the run-up to Christmas “because Brexit hasn’t happened yet”.
While car sales at Irish dealerships have slumped over the past year amid a flood of cheap used UK imports, today’s CSO figures showed wider growth in retail spending, particularly in household equipment, up 13.4pc by volume on the year.
Excluding the weakness in the domestic motor trade, retail sales are 4.7pc higher by volume and 2.1pc by value since September 2018. “Spending is higher and that is encouraging,” Mr McQuaid said.
“The figures reflect the reality that disposable incomes are up and more are people at work than a year ago. The underlying trend is that most sectors are up.”
Article by Irish Independent