SALES ARE UP BUT LOCAL BUSINESS SECTOR SAYS BUDGET CONFIDENCE BOOST IS CRUCIAL

2 November 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The retail element of the Co Monaghan economy, in common with national trends, appears to be experiencing a small but distinct upturn, according to figures released last week by the Central Statistics Office.
But business representatives are anxiously awaiting the forthcoming Budget following the findings of a survey that shows sector confidence in a fragile state because of difficulties in key trading markets and anxiety over what Minister for Finance Michael Noonan might unveil in December.
A boost in the sale of televisions and related equipment in the run-up to the digital switch-over is believed to be a significant factor in a rise in the retail of electrical goods reflected in the CSO findings, which disclosed an overall sales increase on both a monthly and annual basis.
Sales in September, excluding motor and bar sales, were up 2% on the same month last year and by 0.1% on August.
The third consecutive monthly increase in the value of retail sales, and the second annual increase, was welcomed by Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam.
“Electrical goods showed the largest increase, in large part due to the purchase of new television sets in time for the digital switch over,” Mr Lynam pointed out.
“Department stores, supermarkets and pharmacy sales were also up compared with September of last year.”
However, Mr Lynam tempered his reaction by noting that sales in the furniture sector had suffered a further drop, reflecting the continued depressed state of the housing market.
And sales of books and newspapers are also significantly down.
“Total retail sales are down about 30% since the start of the recession,” the Retail Ireland Director stated.
“While the increase recorded in the CSO’s figures is welcome, we have a long, long way to go before the retail sector returns to health.”
Reflecting on the upcoming Budget, Mr Lynam added:
“Speculation on new taxes, such as the nature and size of the property …

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