DUBLIN， Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The volume of retail sales decreased by 4.7 percent in August compared to July， according to figures released on Wednesday.
The statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the big monthly fall was mainly due to weaker new car sales following the strong showing in July as the 162 registration plates came into operation.
But on an annual basis， the volume of retail sales rose by 5.2 percent， the CSO said.
Economists here said that although retail sales remain erratic on a monthly basis， the underlying trend is still positive.
""While most attention was on cars last year and will be again in 2016， personal spending in other areas has generally picked up in recent months and is becoming more broad-based. This can only be good news for retailers and employment prospects in the sector，"" said Alan McQuaid， chief economist with the Dublin-headquartered Merrion Stockbrokers.
He said consumer confidence hit a 15-year high in January but has dipped since mainly on uncertainty over the Brexit referendum.
""Still， overall， spending was quite robust in the first eight months of the year， with headline sales up 7.2 percent year-on-year on average in volume terms，"" he added.
The weakness of the euro against both sterling and the dollar boosted the spending of holidaymakers to Ireland from the United States and Britain in 2015， though the single currency will likely strengthen in 2016， according to the Irish economist.
Sterling has already weakened following Britain's shock vote on June 23 to leave the EU. This will have negative implications for British tourist spending in Ireland in the second half of the year， McQuaid said.
The Brexit fall-out and the uncertain economic implications will likely impact negatively on Irish consumer sentiment， resulting in lower personal spending going forward， he said， adding that a sharp fall in the pound may well entice Irish shoppers to spend in Northern Ireland.
""In overall terms though， increased disposable income should lead to higher personal spending in 2016， as should the strong labour market，"" McQuaid said.
""Even allowing for a slowdown in spending in the second half of 2016， we think that headline retail sales volume growth for the year as a whole will still be in the region of 6.5 percent to 7 percent， albeit down from 8.2 percent in 2015，"" he said.
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, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Uganda and Madagascar on Wednesday qualified for the finals of the Africa Rugby Under-19 One B final after winning their semifinal ties.
The matches played at the Kyadondo Rugby Ground in Kampala saw Madagascar silence Zambia 43-0, while hosts Uganda stopped Senegal 23-12 in the other semifinal clash.
In the earlier game, Madagascar scored tries through Jen Claude Rasolonirina, Jean Claude Rakotomandimy and Tejoma Randriamantena Tejoma. The second game saw Uganda score tries through Ivan Magomu, Edwin Kayima and Fred Ochan, while Senegal managed penalty conversion through Abdul Diop.
""We are happy that we have managed to overcome Senegal. We have to be at our best against Madagascar on Saturday,"" said Uganda's coach Robert Seguya.
Uganda's captain Al Hajji Manano said they are now very focused for the final since they also had chance to watch the Madagascar style of play. The overall winner of the tournament will gain promotion to tier One A and the holder of the wooden spoon being relegated to tier One C. Uganda are hosting this competition for the first time since 2007.
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