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Retail slowly growing

RETAIL sales in Ireland are gradually crawling back up in volume, new research has revealed.

The figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the volume of retail sales rose by 0.3pc in February when compared to January

This was the first monthly rise since October, while there was no change in the annual figure.

However, the CSO said that, when motor trades are excluded, the volume of retail sales fell by 0.2pc last month compared to January.

But it still means that there was an annual increase of 1pc.

Sales in non-specialised stores rose by 0.6pc, while sales in food, beverages and tobacco stores grew by 0.5pc.

Economist Alan McQuaid said that the data is an indication that consumers still remain very cautious.

"'It is hard to see a major upward rise in personal expenditure in the coming months, given the ongoing uncertain economic/ financial climate,'' he said.

Retail Excellence Ireland said that not enough is being done by the Government to stimulate the domestic economy.

"It is disappointing to see that the there is still no great improvement in retail sales in Ireland," said David Fitzsimons, CEO of Retail Excellence Ireland.

"Retailers were hoping that 2013 would demonstrate positive growth in the retail sector. However, as the CSO figures over the past few months show, this is not the case."