Irish retail sales post second month of annual growth

FILE PHOTO: A woman infront of a shop in Dublin is seen on St. Patrick's Day as public events were cancelled due to the number of coronavirus cases grow around the world, in Dublin, Ireland, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish retail sales volumes registered a second consecutive month of annual growth in July as pent-up demand for electrical goods and furniture helped make up for the bars that remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, data showed on Friday.

July retail volumes were up 6.4% compared to the same month last year, up from an annual increase of 3.5% in June, the first month most retail outlets were allowed to reopen following a national lockdown.

Sales of electrical goods were up 26.5% compared to July 2019 while furniture and lighting was up 21.1%, the Central Statistics Office said in a statement.

Bars that serve food were allowed to reopen in late June, but other bars and nightclubs remain closed and July sales volumes in the sector were down 53% compared to the same month last year.

Retail sales volumes were 1.5% higher in July than June, the data showed.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Toby Chopra