The May Retail Sales Index was released by the CSO earlier today. The up-down volatility in the series that was seen around the turn of the year has now been replaced by downward momentum.
Both the value and volume series are now down to the minimums there were recorded last December. The drop to these levels in December was largely influenced by the extreme cold weather that the country experienced. There is no such meteorological explanation for the return to these levels in May.
Unsurprising, the annual changes are moving further away from zero. Value is now 3.5% behind last year and volume 5.1% down on last year. We had expected that the annual comparisons around now would be negative even if the index had managed to stop falling. It hasn’t and the annual drops are getting larger.
The recent volatility is highlighted by the monthly changes but the jumps from positive to negative have been replaced by a series of negative monthly changes. It must be all those pesky savers!Tweet