This is a new experimental thematic publication by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on business statistics. A range of data was taken from existing data sources and analysed in greater detail in order to give an overall profile of a specific sector. This publication covers three sectors that are broadly covered in the Retail Sales Index and for the purposes of this publication have been grouped together and given the overall heading - the Retail Economy. The Retail Economy comprises NACE 45 - Motor Trades, NACE 47 - Retail Trade and NACE 56 - Food & Beverage Service Activities.
The publication also presents a historical picture by comparing the content and related expenditure weights of the Basket of Consumer Goods and Services used in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in 1922 with the basket of goods and services from 2022. The differences reflect the changes in the standard of living, the range and choice of goods and services, the development of modern retailing, and technological progress over the last 100 years. In 1922, the main objective was the satisfaction of basic needs such as having food, clothing, and shelter. Choice was more limited compared with today's modern world and the vast majority of household income went on these basic necessities. The modern retail sector is vastly different from 100 years ago. For example, the first supermarket opened in Ireland in 1959.