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Retail sales show 1.4% annual rise in November

Retail sales rose 1.4% in November as shoppers prepared for Christmas, increasing their spending in supermarkets and on hardware.

However, department stores took a hit as the value of retail sales feel by more than 9%, and the volume declined by 6.5% year-on-year.

The motor trade also saw a decline of 0.5% on an annual basis, although value climbed 0.6% compared to 2018 figures.

Sales were weaker than expected in the run-up to the Christmas period. However, the period excludes the “Black Friday” sales that have taken hold in recent years; in 2018 the event occurred earlier in the month and so fell within the sales period under review.

On a monthly basis, retail sales saw a 3.3% increase in volume in November, with the motor trade acting as a drag on figures.

When that was excluded, retail sales grew 1.2% month-on-month, and 1.9% compared with November 2018. “Retail sales continue to remain erratic on a monthly basis and are still swinging back and forth, but the underlying trend is positive,” said economist Alan McQuaid.

Ciara O’Brien

Retail sales show 1.4% annual rise in November