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For more information on this release:
E-mail: Stephanie Kelleher (+353) 21 453 5123
For general information on CSO statistics: (+353) 21 453 5000 On-line ISSN 2009-5295

This release has been compiled during the COVID-19 crisis. The results contained in this release reflect some of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 situation. For further information see Information note on the implications of COVID - 19 on the Retail Sales Index March 2022

CSO statistical release, , 11am

Retail Sales Index

March 2022 (Provisional) February 2022 (Final)

Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales Index - All Businesses
 (Base Year 2015 = 100)
     Volume IndexValue Index
February 2020121.5112.3
March 2021123.3113.4
February 2022126.2118.5
March 2022126.9118.9
% change  
February 2020 - March 20224.4%5.8%

Volume of Retail Sales up 0.6% in March 2022

Figure 1 Retail Sales Index - Seasonally Adjusted Volume
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Retail sales increased by 0.6% in March 2022 when compared to February 2022 on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an annual basis, retail volumes were 2.9% higher than in March 2021. 

In March 2022, monthly volume increases in sales were recorded in Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+9.9%), Department Stores (+7.4%), Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) (+2.0%) and Hardware, Paints & Glass (+1.5%). The largest monthly decreases in the volume of sales were in Bars (-19.6%), Electrical Goods (-15.8%) and Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (-10.3%). See Table 3 and Figure 2b.

Several sectors showed very large annual increases in the volume of sales, compared with March 2021 when a full lockdown of non-essential retail and services was in force. The volume of sales in Bars rose by 611% compared with March 2021. Bars were closed in March 2021 except where there were ancillary services. Despite the large recovery in March 2022 over the previous year, Bar sales remained 40.4% lower than their pre-COVID-19 level in February 2020. Other sectors showing large annual increases were Clothing & Footwear (+271%) and Department Stores (+81%). In these sectors, the annual increase reflects a recovery from a very low base in March 2021 when the country was in Level 5 lockdown.

Compared to a year ago, the three sectors which showed the largest reduction in volume were Hardware, Paints & Glass (-14.1%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (-13.4%) and Other Retail Sales (-12.1%). See Tables 3 & 3a and Figures 2a & 3a.

Compared to February 2020 (25 months earlier and pre-COVID-19), the volume of retail sales in March 2022 was 4.4% higher. The highest increases were seen in Clothing & Footwear (+45.4%), Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+20.6%), Hardware, Paints & Glass (+18.5%) and Furniture & Lighting (+10.4%). The largest decreases in the volume of sales in March 2022 when compared to February 2020 levels, were Bars (-40.4%), Books, Newspapers & Stationery (-15.6%), Fuel (-14.2%) and Motor Trades (-11.9%). See Table 3a and Figure 3a.

When Motor Trades are excluded, the volume of retail sales rose by 0.6% in March over the previous month and increased by 9.4% when compared to March 2021. See Table 2.

The proportion of retail sales transacted online (from Irish registered companies) was 5.0% in March 2022 compared to 4.5% in February 2022, 11.1% in March 2021 and 4.5% in March 2020. See Tables 6 & 7.

The value of retail sales was 0.3% higher in March 2022 than in February 2022. On an annual basis the value of retail sales was 4.8% higher than March 2021. Excluding Motor Trades, the value of retail sales increased by 2.2% in the month and increased by 16.8% on an annual basis. See Tables 1 & 2.

The impact of price change is reflected in the difference between value and volume. In Fuel for example, the value of sales rose by 35.0% in the year to March 2022 while the volume rose by just 1.9% over the same period, the difference due to higher prices compared to the previous year. See Table 3.

Unadjusted indices are available on CSO PxStat.

Business SectorsAnnual change
All Businesses2.9
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades9.4
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars7.8
Motors & Fuel-7.6
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars5.8
Food Businesses-9.3
Non-Food (excl. Motor trades, Fuel & Bars)24.6
Household Equipment-3.5
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods-12.2
X-axis labelMonthly change
All Businesses0.6
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades0.6
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars1.2
Motors & Fuel0
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars1.4
Food Businesses0.4
Non-Food (excl. Motor trades, Fuel & Bars)4.8
Household Equipment0.4
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods-4
X-axis labelMarch 2021 - March 2022February 2020 - March 2022
All Businesses2.94.4
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades9.47.6
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars7.810.7
Motors & Fuel-7.6-4.6
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars5.810.2
Food Businesses-9.32
Non-Food (excl. Motor trades, Fuel & Bars)24.626.2
Household Equipment-3.512.3
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods-12.20.3
Table 1 Seasonally Adjusted Indices of Total Retail Sales1
        Base Year: 2015=100
  Total Retail Sales for all Businesses Combined
Period  Value of Sales Volume of Sales
   Index% change on previous periodAnnual % change Index% change on previous periodAnnual % change
2020Year105.1-4.9-4.9 115.9-2.3-2.3
20201st quarter108.4-2.7-1.9 116.9-1.7-1.1
 2nd quarter 84.0-22.5-24.5 92.9-20.5-22.0
 3rd quarter 128.338.09.5
 4th quarter 110.6-4.8-0.7 122.9-4.23.3
20211st quarter 105.9-4.3-2.3 116.1-5.6-0.7
 2nd quarter 120.313.643.3 129.611.739.5
 3rd quarter
 4th quarter 122.0-2.810.3 127.8-2.14.0
20221st quarter2 118.8-2.712.1 125.8-1.68.4
2020February  112.30.2-0.4
 March 100.7-10.3-10.5 109.3-10.1-9.5
 April 61.9-38.5-44.9 68.5-37.3-43.3
 May 80.329.7-27.6 88.929.7-25.0
 June 109.836.8-0.6 121.436.62.6
October 115.4-4.73.5 128.2-3.97.4
November 101.1-12.4-8.6 112.8-12.0-4.6
 December 115.414.23.0 127.813.27.1
2021January94.1-18.4-16.0 102.3-20.0-14.7
 February110.217.1-1.9 122.720.00.9
 March113.42.912.6 123.30.512.8
April117.03.289.0 125.61.983.3
May120.02.649.5 129.93.446.2
June 124.03.413.0
July124.00.010.5 129.0-3.23.6
September125.5-1.23.6 130.5-1.4-2.1
October 123.8-1.37.3 128.9-1.30.6
November 123.0-0.721.7
December 119.2-3.13.3 125.6-2.6-1.7
2022January 118.9-0.226.3 124.5-0.921.7
1Based on Seasonal Patterns up to March 2022
2Provisional value and volume of sales indices based on early returns from sample retailers
Table 2 Seasonally Adjusted Indices of Total Retail Sales (Excluding Motor Trades)1
        Base Year: 2015=100
   Total Retail Sales for all Businesses Combined (Excl Motor Trades)
Period  Value of Sales Volume of Sales
   Index% change on previous periodAnnual % change Index% change on previous periodAnnual % change
2020Year 105.9-3.5-3.5
20201st quarter 108.8-0.6-0.4
 2nd quarter 93.7-13.9-15.2 106.0-11.4-11.7
 3rd quarter 112.420.02.7
 4th quarter 107.9-4.1-1.5 125.0-3.24.5
20211st quarter 100.3-7.0-7.8 114.4-8.5-4.3
 2nd quarter 111.311.018.9 125.89.918.7
3rd quarter116.24.43.4
4th quarter118.82.210.1 130.7-0.44.6
20221st quarter2119.60.719.3 128.7-1.612.5
2020March 106.2-3.0-2.9 118.2-1.5-0.3
 April 81.5-23.2-26.4 90.6-23.4-24.7
 May 91.211.8-17.6 103.514.2-14.0
 June 108.318.8-1.3 123.819.63.6
 October 113.4-0.13.6 131.1-0.59.6
 November99.2-12.6-8.9 115.0-12.3-3.2
 December 128.912.17.0
2021January 95.2-14.3-14.0 108.6-15.7-10.0
 February 101.66.7-7.2 116.67.4-2.8
 March 104.12.5-2.0 118.01.3-0.1
April102.8-1.226.1 116.3-1.428.4
May110.37.221.0 125.47.821.2
July114.2-5.62.4 128.9-4.91.4
October118.40.34.4 130.5-1.6-0.4
November121.02.122.0 133.01.915.7
December117.0-3.35.4 128.7-3.3-0.2
2022January118.21.024.1 128.6-0.118.4
 February119.10.717.2 128.3-0.210.1
1Based on Seasonal Patterns up to March 2022
2Provisional value and volume of sales indices based on early returns from sample retailers
Table 3 Seasonally Adjusted1 Value and Volume Indices of Retail Sales for 13 Retail Businesses2 - Provisional Results March 2022
   Base Year: 2015=100
 March 2022
Retail Business - NACE REV 2Value of Sales Volume of Sales
 IndexMonthly % changeAnnual % change IndexMonthly % changeAnnual % change
Motor Trades110.3-8.80.8 102.7-8.0-7.8
Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) 124.22.6-3.1 125.02.0-8.3
Department Stores 111.47.481.1
Food, Beverages & Tobacco103.3-10.1-10.9 112.3-10.3-13.4
Fuel122.3-0.235.0 88.6-9.41.9
Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles124.16.110.7 150.29.913.6
Clothing, Footwear & Textiles143.0-1.6267.0 169.9-0.1270.5
Furniture & Lighting158.80.635.1 192.9-0.429.1
Hardware, Paints & Glass150.52.1-12.6 159.91.5-14.1
Electrical Goods116.6-14.5-6.8 185.2-15.8-8.7
Books, Newspapers & Stationery92.1-3.528.0 84.6-2.820.6
Other Retail Sales127.14.920.1 111.7-3.4-12.1
Bars 67.4-18.6636.4 57.6-19.6610.7
All Businesses
    Combined Groups       
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades121.62.216.8
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars126.52.713.1
Motors & Fuel125.30.03.4 112.60.0-7.6
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars126.43.612.0
Food Businesses120.51.2-4.8 122.00.4-9.3
Non-Food excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars126.22.627.5 153.84.824.6
Household Equipment138.40.90.1 183.20.4-3.5
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods122.32.319.8 108.9-4.0-12.2
1Based on Seasonal Patterns up to March 2022, individual series are independently adjusted
2See Background Notes for further detail
Table 3a Percentage changes for Retail Sales for 13 Retail Businesses1, February 2020 (pre-COVID-19) - March 20222
   Base Year: 2015=100
Value of Sales Volume of Sales
Retail Business - NACE REV 2February 2020 - March 2022 March 2021 - March 2022 February 2020 - March 2022 March 2021 - March 2022
 (25 months) (12 months) (25 months) (12 months)
 % % % %
Motor Trades-2.9 0.8 -11.9 -7.8
Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) 6.4 -3.1 3.1 -8.3
Department Stores -3.5 80.4 2.7 81.1
Food, Beverages & Tobacco6.8 -10.9 5.5 -13.4
Fuel9.9 35.0 -14.2 1.9
Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles12.1 10.7 20.6 13.6
Clothing, Footwear & Textiles35.7 267.0 45.4 270.5
Furniture & Lighting13.0 35.1 10.4 29.1
Hardware, Paints & Glass21.8 -12.6 18.5 -14.1
Electrical Goods-2.7 -6.8 -2.6 -8.7
Books, Newspapers & Stationery-12.7 28.0 -15.6 20.6
Other Retail Sales31.1 20.1 5.0 -12.1
Bars -35.7 636.4 -40.4 610.7
All Businesses 5.8 4.8 4.4 2.9
    Combined Groups     
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades11.1 16.8 7.6 9.4
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars13.8 13.1 10.7 7.8
Motors & Fuel6.8 3.4 -4.6 -7.6
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars13.0 12.0 10.2 5.8
Food Businesses6.0 -4.8 2.0 -9.3
Non-Food excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars17.2 27.5 26.2 24.6
Household Equipment14.6 0.1 12.3 -3.5
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods23.6 19.8 0.3 -12.2
1See Background Notes for further detail
2Based on Seasonal Patterns up to March 2022, individual series are independently adjusted. March 2022 applies to provisional data only
Table 4 Seasonally Adjusted1 Value and Volume Indices of Retail Sales for 13 Retail Businesses2 - Final Results February 2022
   Base Year: 2015=100
 February 2022
Retail Business - NACE REV 2Value of Sales Volume of Sales
 IndexMonthly % changeAnnual % change IndexMonthly % changeAnnual % change
Motor Trades120.8-0.61.4 111.60.0-6.8
Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) 121.1-1.8-5.6 122.6-2.5-10.1
Department Stores 84.5-5.390.2 103.7-5.387.4
Food, Beverages & Tobacco114.91.3-1.0 125.20.8-4.6
Fuel122.52.247.1 97.8-0.218.7
Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles117.0-1.44.9
Clothing, Footwear & Textiles145.40.0290.8 170.0-0.1284.9
Furniture & Lighting157.9-1.841.8 193.6-0.836.4
Hardware, Paints & Glass147.46.6-3.1 157.611.0-7.8
Electrical Goods136.31.8-12.0 219.84.4-14.1
Books, Newspapers & Stationery95.4-1.185.0 87.0-2.475.2
Other Retail Sales121.116.015.8 115.61.7-7.0
Bars 82.822.8798.7 71.723.2776.3
All Businesses 118.5-0.37.5
    Combined Groups       
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades119.10.717.2 128.3-0.210.1
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars123.20.912.8
Motors & Fuel125.32.02.8 112.62.0-6.4
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars121.91.19.6
Food Businesses119.1-2.0-5.0 121.6-3.5-9.5
Non-Food (excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars)123.01.930.7 146.81.329.7
Household Equipment137.10.50.1 182.6-0.5-4.6
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods119.616.318.8 113.43.3-6.6
1Based on Seasonal Patterns up to March 2022, individual series are independently adjusted
2See Background Notes for further detail
Table 5 Seasonally Adjusted1 Value and Volume Indices of Retail Sales for 13 Retail Businesses2 - 3 Monthly Provisional Estimates
 (Provisional Estimates)  Base Year: 2015=100
 January 2022 - March 2022
Retail Business - NACE REV 2Value of Sales Volume of Sales
 Index% change on previous periodAnnual % change Index% change on previous periodAnnual % change
Motor Trades117.6-9.77.6 108.7-11.9-1.2
Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) 122.9-3.3-3.5 124.5-5.5-8.3
Department Stores
Food, Beverages & Tobacco110.5-4.3-4.7 120.6-6.5-7.7
Fuel121.61.844.9 94.8-4.014.8
Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles119.9-9.89.1 140.5-7.610.0
Clothing, Footwear & Textiles144.621.5299.4 170.020.1300.9
Furniture & Lighting159.13.649.2 193.91.343.4
Hardware, Paints & Glass145.4-1.3-2.7 153.2-1.8-6.8
Electrical Goods128.9-2.2-5.1 205.2-3.6-7.3
Books, Newspapers & Stationery94.6-3.966.8 86.9-7.058.0
Other Retail Sales117.512.714.2 113.7-1.1-8.2
Bars 72.5-10.9647.4 62.5-16.1626.7
All Businesses 118.8-2.712.1 125.8-1.68.4
    Combined Groups       
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades119.60.719.3 128.7-1.612.5
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades & Bars123.91.715.4 133.8-0.89.9
Motors & Fuel124.5-2.711.4 111.9-6.30.6
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars123.00.912.9 136.0-1.08.1
Food Businesses120.4-4.4-4.1 123.2-6.1-8.3
Non-Food (excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars)123.34.333.3 148.54.731.4
Household Equipment137.3-5.15.2 183.1-7.90.7
Books, Newspapers, Stationery & Other Goods114.911.119.7 110.7-0.4-5.0
1Based on Seasonal Patterns up to March 2022, individual series are independently adjusted
2See Background Notes for further detail
Table 6 Percentage of Turnover generated by Online Sales1 for Total Retail Sales
  Total Retail Sales for all Businesses Combined
Period  % sales online
2019Year 3.3
2020Year 7.0
2021Year 7.5
20191st quarter2.9
 2nd quarter3.1
 3rd quarter3.3
 4th quarter3.8
20201st quarter3.7
 2nd quarter11.7
 3rd quarter4.5
 4th quarter8.1
20211st quarter 11.4
 2nd quarter 6.9
 3rd quarter 5.0
 4th quarter 7.1
20221st quarter2 5.0
2019January 2.8
 February 3.0
 March 3.0
October 3.4
November 4.0
 February 3.5
 July 4.6
 August 4.5
 September 4.5
 October 6.0
 November 12.4
 December 5.8
2021January 11.0
 February 11.8
 March 11.1
 April 10.1
 May 5.6
 June 4.9
 July 4.8
 August 4.8
 September 4.6
 October 5.5
 November 6.0
 December 9.7
2022January 5.6
 February 4.5
 March2 5.0
1Only enterprises registered in Ireland are included
2Provisional subject to revision
Table 7 Percentage of Turnover generated by Online Sales for 13 Retail Businesses1 - Provisional Results March 20222
 March 2021 February 2022 March 2022
Retail Business - NACE REV 2 Sales Online Sales Online Sales Online
 % % %
Motor Trades3.4 1.3 2.5
Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) 2.9 2.7 2.7
Department Stores 28.5 8.3 9.4
Food, Beverages & Tobacco2.5 7.0 8.7
Fuel* * *
Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles* * *
Clothing, Footwear & Textiles65.8 10.1 10.6
Furniture & Lighting* * *
Hardware, Paints & Glass* * *
Electrical Goods21.4 8.6 10.4
Books, Newspapers & Stationery* * *
Other Retail Sales11.8 6.4 6.4
Online or Mail Order91.1 68.4 62.8
Bars * * *
All Businesses 11.1 4.5 5.0
    Combined Groups     
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades14.2 5.9 6.0
All Businesses excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars16.1 6.5 6.6
Food Businesses2.8 3.2 3.4
Non-Food (excl. Motor Trades, Fuel & Bars)26.9 9.2 9.2
Household Equipment16.8 6.0 6.9
Books, Newspapers, Stationery, Other Goods and Online22.5 14.4 14.1
1See Background Notes for further detail
2Provisional based on early returns from sample retailers

Background Notes

Retail Sales Index

An updated Retail Sales Index (RSI) has been introduced in the January 2018 release. The underlying methodology remains unchanged. The index is primarily intended to measure short-term trends.  For long term analysis, allowance must be made for the fact that the series does not reflect changes in retail structures between updates.

Reference Period

The February period covers the 4 weeks from 30/01/22 to 26/02/22 and the March period covers the 5 weeks from 27/02/22 to 02/04/22.

Base Year

This set of monthly retail sales indices has been compiled with reference to base year 2015=100. The underlying structural weighting system is mainly based on the 2015 Annual Services Inquiry. Weights are updated from year to year using ratios of average weekly turnover by size class within business type.

Scope and Coverage

The Retail Sales Index covers, on a matched sample basis, the retail sales of retail businesses, wholesale businesses with sizeable retailing activity, and the separate sales establishments of non-distribution enterprises. Excluded from the index coverage are the direct retail sales from non-distribution establishments together with the incidental retail sales of wholesale businesses. Also excluded are sales by hawkers, street stalls, and other retailing activities not conducted from permanent business premises. The RSI does include internet/online sales of enterprises which have a presence in Ireland, but these sales are included under the primary activity of the enterprise, e.g. online grocery sales are included in Non-Specialised Stores. The statistical unit used for reporting sales figures in this inquiry is the enterprise (i.e. complete business covering all branches).  Online retailers not registered in Ireland but selling to Irish Residents are not within the scope of the Irish RSI. 


The business categories are based mainly on the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE Rev. 2). The index system is structured on the retailing enterprises covered in the 2015 Annual Services Inquiry classified by 13 retail business categories and four turnover (excluding VAT) ranges. The following NACE Rev.2 categories apply:

  • Motor Trades - Sale, maintenance and repair of new and second-hand vehicles and motorcycles (NACE 45)
  • Non-Specialised Stores - Retail sale in non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating - mainly supermarkets (NACE 47.11)
  • Department Stores - Retail sale of a large variety of goods of which food products, beverages or tobacco are not predominant activities of the department stores. Retail sale of a general line of merchandise, including wearing apparel, furniture, appliances, hardware, cosmetics, jewellery, toys, sports goods, etc. (NACE 47.19)
  • Food, Beverages & Tobacco - Retail sale of fruit and vegetables, meat and meat products, fish, crustaceans and molluscs, bread, cakes, flour and sugar confectionery, and beverages in specialised stores (NACE 47.2)
  • Fuel - Retail sale of fuel and lubricating products and cooling products for motor vehicles and motorcycles. Excludes wholesale of fuels (NACE 47.3)
  • Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles - Retail sale of pharmaceuticals, medical and orthopaedic goods, cosmetic and toilet articles in specialised stores (NACE 47.73 - 75)
  • Clothing, Footwear & Textiles – Retail sale of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods in specialised stores (NACE 47.51, 47.71 – 72)
  • Furniture & Lighting - Retail sale of furniture, lighting equipment and other household articles in specialised stores (NACE 47.59)
  • Hardware, Paints & Glass - Retail sale of hardware, paints and glass in specialised stores (NACE 47.52)
  • Electrical Goods – Retail sale of information and communication equipment, computers, peripheral units and software, telecommunications equipment, audio and video equipment and electrical household appliances in specialised stores (NACE 47.41-43, 47.54)
  • Books, Newspapers & Stationery – Retail sale of books excluding second-hand or antique books, retail sale of office supplies such as pens, pencils, paper, etc. (NACE 47.61 -.62)
  • Other Retail Sales – Retail sale of carpets, rugs, wall and floor coverings, music and video recordings, games and toys, flowers, plants, seeds, fertilisers, pet animals and pet food, jewellery, photographic, optical, souvenirs, household fuels and other new goods in specialised stores. The retail sale activities via mail order or via Internet (NACE 47.53, 47.63-65, 47.76-8, 47.91)
  • Bars – Preparation and serving of beverages for immediate consumption on the premises (NACE 56.3)

 For a full NACE Rev2 breakdown of the above categories see attached link to the Retail Sales Index Methodological Documents.

The value indices are calculated by updating the aggregate 2015 retail turnover (including VAT) of these enterprises in these cells using the monthly retail sales data provided by the enterprise respondent panel from 2015 onwards.

The compilation of the index for a current month is based on the percentage change in average weekly sales in these cells over the corresponding monthly period of the previous year. The monthly volume indices are calculated by deflating the seasonally unadjusted value indices by specially constructed retail price indices derived from the Consumer Price Index (CPI). A copy of the Retail Sales Index methodology is available on our website (

Seasonal Adjustment

All Retail Sales “unadjusted” series are trading day adjusted as they are based on either a standardised four or five-week reporting period (see reference period note above). Seasonal adjustment is conducted using the direct seasonal adjustment approach. Under this approach each individual series is independently adjusted, e.g. aggregate series are adjusted without reference to the component series. A consequence of the direct seasonal adjustment is that there can be a loss of additivity in the series. Each individual seasonally adjusted series is calculated based on unadjusted data spanning from January 2010 to the current period.

The adjustments are completed by applying the X-13-ARIMA model, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau, to the unadjusted data. For additional information on the use of X-13ARIMA-SEATS see (Findley, D.F., B.C. Monsell, W.R. Bell, M.C. Otto, and B. Chen (1998), “New Capabilities and Methods of the X-12-Arima Seasonal Adjustment Program”, Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 16, pp. 127-177.) and

This methodology estimates seasonal factors while also taking into consideration factors that impact on the quality of the seasonal adjustment, such as:

  • Calendar effects e.g. the timing of Easter
  • The phase shift effect i.e. the fact the reporting period of the RSI does not coincide with the calendar month
  • Outliers, temporary changes, and level shifts in the series
  • Seasonal breaks e.g. the introduction of the new number plate system in the Motor Trade sector which occurred in July 2013.  
Note: The Motor Trade group comprises all retail motor trade activities, of which new car sales accounts for approximately 70% of turnover.
COVID-19 note
Seasonally adjusting the Retail Sales Index will be challenging until the scale and shape of the impact of COVID-19 on the time series is better understood.  Each month the outliers are reviewed and updated as required. Users should be aware that further observations, as data becomes available in the months ahead, and revisions to the seasonal adjustment models may result in revisions to the seasonal adjusted series.
Rebase 2015

The rebasing of the series is in line with EU recommendations to update the base reference periods at regular five-year intervals. This new series replaces the existing series to base year 2010 as 100.

The difference in the new rebased RSI series is the use of new cell and sector baseweights taken from the ASI 2015. The existing cell structure/breakdown was maintained in this series.

The new baseweights are updated each month using changes to respondents’ monthly turnover. The rebase also includes the reclassification of enterprises based on their current product profile.

Detail of the methodology used in the RSI are available on  Methodological Documents page.

Online Sales 

The collection of data for online turnover began in November 2018. Enterprises in the sample provide the value of their online turnover for the reporting period. As for all of the survey only Enterprises registered in Ireland are included. From the Annual Services Inquiry (2017) the Online and Mail Order Sector (G4791) registered in Ireland is estimated at 1.0% of all Retail Businesses. A fixed base weight is used from the Annual Services Inquiry (2017).


A detailed description of the Retail Sales Index is available on the Retail Sales Index page.  Retrospective details for the current and previous series are also available on the CSO website.

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