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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Retail Sales Index

October 2021 (Provisional) September 2021 (Final)

Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales Index - All Businesses
 (Base Year 2015 = 100)
     Volume IndexValue Index
October 2019119.4111.5
October 2020128.2115.4
September 2021132.4126.4
October 2021130.1124.5
% change  
Monthly-1.7%-1.4%
Annual1.5%7.9%
October 2019 - October 20219.0%11.7%

Volume of Retail Sales down 1.7% in October 2021

Figure 1: Retail Sales Index - Seasonally Adjusted Volume
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Retail sales decreased by 1.7% in October 2021 when compared to September 2021 on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an annual basis, retail volumes were 1.5% higher than in October 2020. Retail sales for October 2021 were 9.0% higher when compared to two years earlier (October 2019).

In October 2021, the largest monthly volume increases in sales were recorded in Bars (+18.0%), Books, Newspapers & Stationery (+4.9%), Furniture & Lighting (+2.8%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (+1.8%) and Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) (+0.3%). All other business sectors showed a decrease in October, with the largest occurring in Hardware, Paints & Glass (-13.4%), Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (-4.9%), Other Retail Sales (-4.2%) and Fuel (-2.9%). See Table 3 and Figure 2b.

The sector with the highest annual volume increase was Bars (+271%). However, it should be noted that in October of last year, the country was under Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions from early October 2020 and Level 5 lockdown for the final 10 days of October 2020. Other sectors to show large increases in volume compared to October 2020 included Clothing & Footwear (+29.4%), Books, Newspapers & Stationery (+19.1%) and Fuel (+17.7%). The largest annual decreases in volume occurred in Hardware, Paints & Glass (-21.5%), Other Retail Sales (-15.9%), Non-Specialised Stores (incl. supermarkets) (-6.1%) and Electrical Goods (-5.2%). See Table 3 and Figures 2a & 3a.

Compared to October 2019 (two years earlier and pre-COVID-19), the volume of retail sales in October 2021 was 9.0% higher. Several sectors showed significant changes compared to their corresponding level of sales in October 2019. The highest increases were seen in Electrical Goods (+28.2%), Furniture & Lighting (+26.4%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (+20.3%), Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+19.2%) and Other Retail Sales (+14.6%). There were decreases in the volume of sales for three sectors in October 2021 when compared to October 2019 levels, Bars (-6.0%), Fuel (-6.0%) and Books, Newspapers & Stationery (-4.2%). See Table 3a and Figure 3a.

When Motor Trades are excluded, the volume of retail sales rose by 0.3% in October over the previous month and increased by 1.5% when compared to October 2020. See Table 2.

The proportion of retail sales transacted online (from Irish registered companies) was 5.7% in October 2021 compared to 4.6% in September 2021 and 6.0% in October 2020. See Tables 6 & 7.

The value of retail sales was 1.4% lower in October 2021 than in September 2021. On an annual basis the value of retail sales was 7.9% higher than October 2020. Excluding Motor Trades, the value of retail sales increased by 0.9% in the month and increased by 6.0% on an annual basis. See Tables 1 & 2.

Unadjusted indices are available on CSO PxStat