The volume of retail sales in December dropped 3.2% lower than in November and were 2.2% lower than December 2020.

However, the CSO said that compared to December 2019, the volume of retail sales was 4.8% higher.

The largest decrease in December compared to November was in bar sales, which were down 34.7%.

However, compared to December 2020, the volume of bar sales was up 36.6%. Compared to December 2019, pre-Covid, sales were down 49.3%.

Sales in the motor trades were down 18% annually while electrical goods were down 8.5%. Sales of pharmaceuticals, medical and cosmetic articles were up 9.8%.

Price inflation was also evident, with fuel sales volumes falling in the year to December 2021 by 3.5%. However, the value of those sales had actually climbed by 21.5%, reflecting the difference due to higher prices.