The volume of retail sales fell by 1.6% in August when compared to the previous month, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The fall is to largely influenced by the spike in motor sales recorded in July, which came following the introduction of the ‘132’ vehicle registration plate.

If motor trade are excluded, retail sales only fell by 0.2% when compared with the previous month.

On an annual basis, retail sales were 2.6% higher than in August 2012, or 1.2% higher if motor sales are excluded.

The areas with the largest monthly gains were electrical goods, which saw a 7.9% increase, furniture and lighting, which gained 3.8%, and clothing and textiles which rose by 2.6%.

Motor trades were down 9.7% on July, while hardware, paint and glass sales fell 7.6% and book, newspaper and stationary sales dropped by 6%.