Irish retail sales volumes rose 0.9% month on month in February and were 3.1% higher than pre-pandemic levels two years earlier, data showed on Monday, suggesting rising inflation has yet to dampen consumer spending.
With annual inflation at a 21-year high of 5.6%, the value of retail sales rose by 6.2% compared to a year ago, almost three-times the 2.2% year-on-year rise in the volume of sales in February.
The value of fuel sales jumped by 46.5% in the year to February, while the volume rose by 18.1% over the same period, the Central Statistics Office said.
The proportion of online retail transactions from Irish registered companies dropped to 4.7% in February 2022 compared to 5.6% in January 2022, and 11.8% in February 2021.
Comparison With Pre-Pandemic Levels
Compared to February 2020, clothing and footwear (+49.0%), and food, beverages and tobacco (Specialised Stores) (+19.3%), saw the highest increases in sales, data showed.
The largest decline in the volume of sales in this period, were bars (-30.2%), books, newspapers and stationery (-10.1%), fuel (-5.7%) and department stores (-4.3%).
Euro zone inflation rose to a new record high in January, defying expectations for a big drop and adding to already copious doubts that price pressures are as benign and temporary.
Inflation in the 19-country euro zone accelerated to 5.1% in January from 5% in December, well ahead of expectations for a drop to 4.4%, the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat said.
Elsewhere, Irish grocery sales fell by 4.5% in the 12 weeks to 20 February 2022 as grocery price inflation hit 2.4%, marking the seventh consecutive month of rising prices, according data from Kantar.