Irish retail sales fell in July as consumers dealt with higher costs. Retail sales volume he fell 1.6 percent from June, and he fell 8.1 percent in the year to July.

Despite the slowdown in retail sales last month, sales recorded in July were at the same level as in February 2020, before the pandemic began, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Sales declined in some categories as consumers faced rising costs.

Purchases of books, newspapers and stationery fell by more than a quarter in July compared to the previous month, while sales of medicines, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics also fell by 6.8%.

Other categories that recorded sales declines last month included motor trade and department stores.

Consumers also faced higher fuel costs compared to a year ago. His fuel sales for the year to July 2022 increased by 23.1 percent, while corresponding fuel sales decreased by 7.5 percent over the same period.

Consumers are also cutting back on food, beverage and tobacco purchases, with sales down 10% over the year. Grocery inflation in August surged to 9.5%, his highest in 14 years.

The percentage of retail sales transacted online also fell slightly to 4.4% from 5% in June.

However, online shopping remains a popular choice for consumers when it comes to groceries. Kantar says more than 16% of his Irish population now buys groceries online to track spending and reduce gas bills.

Despite blazing cost hikes, consumers embraced the social opportunities in July’s sunny weather, with bars seeing a 23% increase in sales from July to July.

This was the largest monthly volume increase reported by the CSO this month.

This demand was also reflected in annual growth rates, with bar sales increasing 56.8% for the year.

However, according to the CSO, this comparison is from a lower base as some restrictions remained in place last July.

Statistician Stephanie Kelleher said: “Despite a strong year-over-year recovery, bar sales remained 8.4% lower than pre-COVID-19 levels in February 2020.

Clothing and footwear purchases increased 4.3% in the year to July, while furniture and lighting sales rose slightly by 1.1% compared to last July.

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