Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Retail Sales; Tourist Numbers

The release of the July Retail Sales Index shows a slight rise in retail sales.  Core retail sales (excluding motor trades which make up 21.6% of the July index) rose by by both value and volume when compared to June.

Ex Motor Trades Index to July

The monthly rise is not suggesting that the decline in retail sales is over and the annual changes for both the value and volume series remained negative as has been the case for over a year now.

Annual Change Ex Motor Trade Index to July

The monthly changes show the volatility that highlight that a monthly swing is not to be considered a change in the long run momentum of the series.

Monthly Change Ex Motor Trade Index to July

One factor related to sales in Ireland (and not confined to retail sales) is the number of visitors from abroad.  An increase in visitors should lead to an increase in consumption. 

The CSO’s Overseas Travel release shows that in the first six months of 2011 there were 3.0 million visitors from abroad compared to 2.6 million in 2010 – an increase of 13%.

Separate data in Table 13 from the CSO’s National Income and Expenditure Accounts show that non-residents spent €3.1 billion in the economy in 2010.  If the 13% increase in numbers is maintained for the year and corresponds to a similar increase in expenditure by non-residents then consumption in this category will rise to around €3.5 billion.

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