Retail sales fell by more than 2% in March

Department stores saw sales drop by 4% last month

Retail sales, CSO, drop, decrease, spending, department stores, hardware, motor sales

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The volume of retail sales fell by 2.1% last month when compared with February.

But the Central Statistics Office (CSO) says there was an increase of 5.2% in the annual figure.

If motor trades are excluded, there was a decrease of 0.1% in the volume of retail sales in March when compared with February, and there was an increase of 6.4% in the annual figure.

The sectors with the largest month-on-month volume increases were other retail sales, up 3.5%, food, beverages and tobacco increased by 2.1% while the hardware sector grew by 1.9%.

The sectors with the largest decreases were department stores (which saw a drop of 4%), motor trades,and electrical goods.

There was an annual increase of 3.1% in the value of retail sales when compared with March a year ago.

If motor trades are excluded, there was a decrease of 0.1% in the value of retail sales and an annual increase of 3.9%.