March sales of food, tobacco and beverages drop by more than 10% in a year
Sales of food, tobacco and beverages dropped in March 2022 by more than 10% compared to February, according to new figures from the CSO.
According to the Retail Sales Index March 2022, the volume of retail sales is 4.4% higher in March 2022 than pre-COVID-19 levels in February 2020.
Meanwhile, the value of sales in the Fuel sector rose by 35.0% in the year to March 2022 while the volume rose by just 1.9% over the same period, reflecting higher prices compared to the previous year
Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+9.9%) and Department Stores (+7.4%) recorded the largest monthly volume increases, and the largest monthly volume decreases were in Bars (-19.6%), Electrical Goods (-15.8%) and Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (-10.3%)
Bars (+611%) and Clothing & Footwear (+271%) accounted for the highest annual volume increases, but the comparison is with a low base from a year ago when a full lockdown of non-essential retail and services was in force.
Commenting on the release, Stephanie Kelleher, Statistician, said: “Retail Sales increased by 0.6% in March 2022 when compared to February 2022 on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an annual basis, retail volumes were 2.9% higher than in March 2021.”
Compared to a year ago, the three sectors which showed the largest reduction in volume were Hardware, Paints & Glass (-14.1%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (-13.4%) and Other Retail Sales (-12.1%).”
The proportion of retail sales transacted online (from Irish registered companies) was 5.0% in March 2022 compared to 4.5% in February 2022, 11.1% in March 2021 and 4.5% in March 2020.
The impact of price change is reflected in the difference between value and volume. In Fuel, for example, the value of sales rose by 35.0% in the year to March 2022 while the volume rose by just 1.9% over the same period, the difference due to higher prices compared to the previous year.