ISME, the Irish SME Association today (September 28th ) at the release of the latest retail sales index figures calls on Government to provide strategic supports for the retail sector, such as a reduction in the VAT rate from 23% to 21%.
The monthly retail sales figures for August show a decrease by 4.2%. There was a decrease of 0.4% in the value of retail sales in August when compared with July.
Commenting on today’s figures ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell said“The retail sector is at the mercy of consumer sentiment. The most recent index shows a slight pull-back in Irish Consumer Sentiment, dropping from 105.1 to 102.9 in August. This decline is reflected in today’s monthly retail sales index.
The main issues facing retailers are:
Very low margins, as evidenced by CSO figures.
Negative cross-border trade, due to the ongoing sterling weakness.
Excessive business costs such as insurance, rates, and development charges.
“We call on Government to support growth within the retail sector by reducing VAT rate from 23% to 21% in Budget 2018.”