Monday, November 28, 2011

29/11/2011: Retail Sales for October: Ireland

Irish retail sales continue on downward trend, with no respite.  I will be updating my exclusive Retail Sector Activity Index in the follow up post (so stay tuned), but here are the core headlines:
  • The volume of retail sales index rose by 0.1% in October 2011 mom but is down 3.8% yoy. The volume of sales is now down 21.67% on peak. The index reading of 91.1 in October compares against 91.3 3mo AM and 92.1 6mo MA. In 2010 index average was 93.3 and 2011 to-date average is 92.0.
  • There was no change in the value of retail sales on a monthly basis, however the annual change was -3.7%. The value index is now 25.6% below its peak. 3mo MA is at 86.7 against current reading of 86.5 and 6mo MA is at 87.5. 2010 annual average is 88.8 against 2011 average to-date of 87.7.

Charts below illustrate:

Focusing on core sales (ex-Motors):
  • The volume of retail sales decreased by 0.2% in October 2011 mom, while there was an annual decrease of 3.6%. Core retail sales are now down 16.1% on the peak and 3mo MA is at 98.4 against October reading of 98.2, 6mo MA is at 98.8 and 2010 average is at 102.25 against 2011 average to-date of 99.5.
  • There was a monthly decrease of 0.1% in the value of core retail sales and an annual decrease of 2.8%, with the value index now 20.6% below the peak. 3mo MA is 94.3, against current October reading of 94.2, and 6mo MA is 94.7. 2010 annual average is 97.6 against 2011 average to-date of 95.5.
Charts below illustrate:

So we are now in month 49 of core retail sales below pre-crisis peaks in both value and volume terms and no sustained bounce in sight. One can only wonder how on earth we still have functioning retailers left.

In October, Books, Newspapers & Stationery (-2.8%), Department Stores (-1.9%) and Electrical Goods (-1.7%) were amongst the categories that showed month-on-month decreases in the volume of retail sales. But have a closer look: seasonally adjusted sales excluding motors, fuel, bars and food are down 1.0% mom and 6.6% yoy in value and down 0.8% mom and 5.3% yoy in volume. So, basically, everything we buy that cannot be substituted for purchases in the Northern Ireland (though motors and food can, with some caveats) has tanked.

And in case you wondered: here's a chart showing annual rates of change in volume of sales for Ireland v EU27 and EA17
Clearly, things are turning around...

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