New CSO data found even bars, which were still supposed to be closed in May, recorded an increase in sales compared to April thanks to takeaway pints and food.
Online sales decreased in May compared to the previous month as retail spend saw a resurgence.
Austin Hughes, chief economist with KBC Bank, says many sectors of the economy, including bars, had to reinvent themselves during the lockdown:
“We see the increase in online, and we also see in bars becoming off licenses, becoming sources of food you know, so what we’re seeing there is Irish ingenuity.
Hopefully (this) is going to lead to a year that is bad, but not as awful as some have predicted."
He says it is a positive sign to see the sudden shift from online back to the high street:
“So we saw a big shift to online in April and March, and then some signs in terms of department stores and other areas, of a switch back to the personal shopping in terms of May, so as the economy reopens, we’re seeing small pockets of promise.”