RETAIL sales were up 0.3pc in the month of February and 11pc compared with the same period last year as consumer confidence hit a 15-year high.
The sales of books, newspapers and stationery were up up strongly in the month at just under 8pc.
According to Merrion Stockbrokers, retail sales are forecast to be up to 9.5pc higher in volume terms for the year as a whole.
Excluding motor trades, retail sales were up 0.2pc in the month and were 7.1pc higher in the year, Merrion said.
While sales figures can be erratic on a monthly bases, the underlying trend is positive, it added.
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, housing data out today showed that while there was no change to prices in February, a two speed market continues to exist with Dublin now lagging in terms of price inflation.
“Secondly, consumer spending trends remain positive, with retail sales growing in February and remaining well ahead of 2015 levels,” it added.
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