As economic recovery takes hold retailers finally get a lift

This year is shaping up to be the best in retail since the economic downturn according to the latest figures for July from the Central Statistics Office.

July of this year has seen the volume of retail sales rise to the highest in eight years as it gained 6.7pc on the same month last year.

Meanwhile, the value of sales across the sector grew by 4.2pc when compared to July of 2014, registering its highest value of sales in six years.

Different sections within retail received significant boosts both month-on-month and year-on-year. However sections like hardware, paint and glass sales saw very minimal recovery.

Nightclubs and pubs across the country will be thrilled to see bar sales finally turning in July. Bar sales have been falling consistently in the month of July since 2007 but this year finally saw that trend bucked.

Volume of sales this year grew by 10.4pc when compared with the same period last year, while the value of sales grew by 10.7pc.

On the back of Apple’s latest launch that showed off everything from two new iPhones to a pencil without lead, you can expect electrical sales to continue on the positive path trodden recent times.

Electrical sales in July were 28.5pc higher than the most recent peak in 2012. The volume of electrical sales grew by 14.3pc while the value of electrical sales also grew by 9.7pc.

The motoring industry has had plenty to be happy about in recent times with improving car sales since the new half-year licence plates came in.

Motor trades have seen vast improvements in half-year sales since 2013 according to the figures from the CSO.

This July has seen an increase of 19.5pc in the volume of car sales when compared with July 2014, while the value of those car sales has also risen. The value of car sales in July rose by 14.3pc when compared with the same period last year.

Motor sales in July saw a substantial increase month-on-month too. The volume of trades went up by over 20pc when compared to June of this year and the value of trades also rose by over 22pc in comparison with June.

One of the faltering sectors in retail was around home improvement. Hardware, paints and glass saw a minimal improvement in the volume of sales and a small decrease in the value of sales for July.

The volume of sales in the section grew by 0.9pc while the value of those sales fell by 0.8pc. Sales in the area are still some way off their 2007 high. Volume of sales in the section is 27pc of the 2007 high while the value of sales in that section is 34.5pc off the pre-crash high.

Another area that benefited from increased retail sales in July was household equipment. While the future of Irish favourite, Aga, remains up in the air amidst two American takeover bids, the sector witnessed a 0.8pc increase in the value of sales from August while the volume of sales increased by 2.4pc from June.

Year on year figures for household equipment saw significant rises both in value and the volume of sales. The value of sales in the section grew by 4.8pc while the volume grew by 9.4pc.

According to Retail Ireland, the industry representative body, there are 42,000 retail and wholesale businesses in Ireland, 83pc of which they say are Irish-owned and Irish-operated.

Retail Ireland says 275,000 people employed in the sector, which in 2012 generated €5.7bn in taxes, including VAT and PAYE and paid out €8.3bn in wages.

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