The April Retail Sales Index has been published by the Central Statistics Office. The volatility that has seen the core series fall, rise, fall, rise over the previous four months continued into April, when March’s rise was followed by a fall in April.
Here is the retail sales index excluding motor trades.
The gap between the value and volume series has been narrowing in recent months, though this has been driven more by the continued fall in the volume series rather than any significant rise in the value series.
The volume series has fallen and is now only higher then when the severe weather resulted in a sharp downswing last December. The value series has performed slightly better and although it is down 2.4% on the year it is still at the same level as was recorded last July. It should be noted that this has more to do with rising prices than increased spending.
The annual changes reflect these patterns with the annual changes in the volume index falling below the annual changes in the value index. This has not been a feature of the recession to date that has generally seen the value index fall at a faster rate than the volume index.
Here are the monthly changes which as stated above have moved from positive to negative for each of the past five months.Tweet