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Retail Sales Index April 2022 (Provisional) March 2022 (Final)

Volume of Retail Sales up 3.8% in April 2022

Online ISSN: 2009-5295
CSO statistical publication, , 11am

The results contained in this release reflect the economic impacts of COVID-19. For further information see Information note on the implications of COVID - 19 on the Retail Sales Index April 2022

Key Findings

  • The volume of Retail Sales increased by 3.8% in the month and by 6.1% in the year to April 2022. 

  • Motor Trades (+33.0%), Bars (+23.7%) and Clothing & Footwear (+13.6%) recorded the largest monthly volume increases.

  • The largest monthly volume decreases were in Department Stores (-42.5%), Furniture & Lighting (-8.8%) and Hardware, Paints & Glass (-6.4%).

  • Bars (+531%), Clothing & Footwear (+282%) and Department Stores (+117%) accounted for the highest annual volume increases, however caution should be exercised when interpreting these increases, as the comparison is with very a low base from a year ago when Level 5 restrictions were in force.

  • The volume of Retail Sales excluding Motor Trades rose by 1.0% in the month and by 12.9% in the year when compared to April 2021.

  • Volume of Retail Sales was 9.7% higher in April 2022 than pre-COVID-19 levels in February 2020.

  • The proportion of Retail Sales transacted online (from Irish registered companies) was 4.8% in April 2022 compared with 5.0% in March 2022, 10.1% in April 2021 and 15.3% in April 2020.

  • The value of sales in the Fuel sector rose by 30.4% in the year to April 2022 while the volume rose by just 2.9% over the same period, reflecting higher prices compared to the previous year.

Statistician's Comment

Commenting on the release, Stephanie Kelleher, Statistician in the Business Division, said: "Retail Sales increased by 3.8% in April 2022 when compared to March 2022 on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an annual basis, retail volumes were 6.1% higher than in April 2021 (See Headline Table and Figure 1). 

In April 2022, the largest monthly volume increases in sales were recorded in Motor Trades (+33.0%), Bars (+23.7%) and Clothing & Footwear (+13.6%). The largest decreases in the volume of sales were in Department Stores (-42.5%) and Furniture & Lighting (-8.8%) (See Table 3). 

Several sectors showed very large annual increases in the volume of sales compared with April 2021, when a full lockdown of non-essential retail and services was in force. Bars rose by 531% compared with April 2021. Bars were closed in April 2021 except where there were ancillary services. Despite the large recovery in April 2022 over the previous year, Bar sales remained 24.4% lower than their pre-COVID-19 level in February 2020.

Other sectors showing large annual increases were Clothing & Footwear (+282%) and Department Stores (+117%), reflecting a recovery from a very low base in April 2021. The three sectors which showed the largest annual reductions in volume were Other Retail Sales (-16.1%), Hardware, Paints & Glass (-15.5%) and Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (-13.8%) (See Tables 3 & 3a).

Compared to February 2020 (26 months earlier and pre-COVID-19), the volume of Retail Sales in April 2022 was 9.7% higher. The highest increases were seen in Clothing & Footwear (+55.7%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (+15.1%) and Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+14.5%).

The largest decreases in the volume of sales in April 2022 when compared to February 2020 levels, were Department Stores (-40.9%), Books, Newspapers & Stationery (-27.5%) and Bars (-24.4%) (See Table 3a).

The value of Retail Sales was 6.0% higher in April 2022 than in March 2022 and was 10.0% higher than April 2021. Excluding Motor Trades, the value of Retail Sales increased by 1.6% in the month and increased by 21.5% on an annual basis. (See Tables 1 & 2)."

Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales Index - All Businesses
 (Base Year 2015 = 100)
     Volume IndexValue Index
February 2020121.5112.3
April 2021125.6117.0
March 2022128.4121.3
April 2022133.3128.6
% change  
Monthly3.8%6.0%
Annual6.1%10.0%
February 2020 - April 20229.7%14.5%
Figure 1: Retail Sales Index - Seasonally Adjusted Volume January 2020 - April 2022
Business SectorsAnnual percentage change
All Businesses6.1
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades12.9
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars9.7
Motors & Fuel-5.2
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars9.1
Food Businesses-6.3
Non-Food (excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars)33
Household Equipment-3.3
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods-16.1
X-axis labelMonthly percentage change
All Businesses3.8
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades1
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars2
Motors & Fuel7.1
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars1.7
Food Businesses7.9
Non-Food (excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars)-1.7
Household Equipment-1.8
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods-4.2
X-axis labelApril 2021 - April 2022February 2020 - April 2022
All Businesses6.19.7
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades12.99.5
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars9.712.4
Motors & Fuel-5.23.9
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars9.111.5
Food Businesses-6.39.8
Non-Food (excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars)3322.2
Household Equipment-3.310.1
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods-16.1-6.2
Figure 4: Percentage of Turnover generated by Online Sales for All Businesses and All Businesses excl. Motors, January 2020 - April 2022
Show Table: Table 1 Seasonally Adjusted Indices of Total Retail Sales for All Businesses

Show Table: Table 2 Seasonally Adjusted Indices of Total Retail Sales for All Businesses (Excluding Motor Trades)

Show Table: Table 3 Seasonally Adjusted Value and Volume Indices of Retail Sales for 13 Retail Businesses - Provisional Results April 2022

Show Table: Table 3a Percentage changes for Combined Businesses Groups February 2020 (pre-COVID-19) - April 2022

Show Table: Table 4 Seasonally Adjusted Value and Volume Indices of Retail Sales for 13 Retail Businesses - Final Results March 2022

Show Table: Table 5 Seasonally Adjusted Value and Volume Indices of Retail Sales for 13 Retail Businesses - 3 Monthly Provisional Estimates

Show Table: Table 6 Percentage of Turnover generated by Online Sales for Total Retail Sales

Show Table: Table 7 Percentage of Turnover generated by Online Sales for 13 Retail Businesses - Provisional Results April 2022

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