Irish retail sales volumes rose month-on-month for the first time in four months in August, up 2% from July to stand 5.6% lower than the same period a year ago, Central Statistics Office data showed on Thursday.

The largest monthly volume increases were in the books, newspapers and stationery category (+28.0%), bars (+7.5%), fuel (+7.2%) and department stores (+6.9%), the CSO said.

With inflation running at an almost 40-year high of around 9%, the value of retail sales were 4.4% higher than in July and 3.4% lower on the year. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alison Williams)