Irish retail sales rise year-on-year for third straight month

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish retail sales volumes increased 9.1% in August compared with the same period last year, the third consecutive month of annual growth, data from the Central Statistics Office showed on Monday.

Retail sales were up 1.3% month-on-month in August, when the final stage of a cautious plan to reopen an economy that was the fastest growing in Europe before the pandemic was paused, keeping pubs that do not serve food closed until last week.

Sales in the hardware, paint and glass, electrical goods and furniture and lighting categories all rose by 26% versus August 2019, while bar sales were 43% lower. Overall sales volumes fell by a record 44% year-on-year in April and a further 25% in May.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alex Richardson