IRISH SHOPPERS SPENT more over the Christmas season just gone than they did the previous year according to new figures.
The Central Statistics Office has said that there was a 3 per cent increase in retail sales in December 2013 as compared to 2012.
The CSO also reports that, in figures adjusted to take account for the time of year, there was a slight bump in sales in December compared to the previous month. The increase of 0.6 per cent follows on from another smaller increase the previous month.
The sales figures showed that books and cosmetics may have been a particularly popular gift this Christmas with the ‘books, newspapers and stationery’ category monitored by the CSO showing the largest monthly increase at 4.2 per cent. ‘Pharmaceuticals, medical and cosmetics’ was up by 3.4 per cent while ‘furniture and lighting’ grew by 3.4 per cent.
In 2013 as a whole, six months observed annual increases while six months saw a decrease reflecting an uncertain mood among consumers. It is perhaps worth noting however that the months which observed a decrease were usually marginal while the increases were on the whole more substantial.