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Irish retail sales suffer first monthly drop since January

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: People queue outside a shop while retail reopens fully as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions continue to ease after an extensive lockdown period in Dublin, Ireland, May 17

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish retail sales volumes fell on a monthly basis for the first time in six months in July, dropping 1.7% as higher bar sales on the further reopening of the sector could not make up for a fall off in department store purchases from a high level in June.

Still, overall sales were 5.2% higher than the same month a year ago, when the first lockdown of the economy was being unwound, and 14% up on pre-pandemic levels in July 2019, the Central Statistics Office said on Friday.

Separate daily credit and debit card usage compiled by Ireland's central bank have shown that spending in the first three weeks of August was up 14% year-on-year, even as no further restrictions were eased this month.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alison Williams)

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