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Retail sales tumble 4.4% | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda Business

Scott Neil, Assistant Business Editor

Published Aug 28, 2019 at 6:53 pm (Updated Aug 28, 2019 at 7:02 pm)

In the red: a graph showing the year-on-year monthly changes in retail sales volume since January 2016. In May the sales volume fell 4.4 per cent (Graph by Scott Neil)

In the red: a graph showing the year-on-year monthly changes in retail sales volume since January 2016. In May the sales volume fell 4.4 per cent (Graph by Scott Neil)

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Monthly retail sales volume fell for the fourteenth time in 15 months, dropping 4.4 per cent year-on-year in May.

This was the figure when adjusted for retail sales inflation, which was 0.8 per cent in May.

All sectors were down, with the biggest decline recorded in the apparel stores sector, where sales volume plummeted 18 per cent.

Since February 2018, the only month that has seen an overall increase in sales volume year-on-year was April, when there was a 0.5 per cent uptick.

In May, the value of sales was $101.8 million, down 3.5 per cent.

Wayne Furbert, Minister for the Cabinet Office, in a statement accompanying the retail figures, said: “I met with members of the Chamber of Commerce retail sector to discuss ways the Government can assist them. I made it clear that the industry must make changes to face the challenges of local retail sales being affected by purchases overseas. I also encourage residents to shop more locally.”

The all other store types sector was down 8 per cent in volume, and 8.1 per cent in value terms, led by a 16.6 per cent drop in marine and boat supplies sales, a 14.2 per cent decrease in sales value of furniture, appliances and electronics, and a 10.8 per cent decrease in miscellaneous goods. However, the value of sales for pharmacies increased 1.7 per cent.

Liquor sales were down 4.1 per cent by volume, and food stores had a 0.4 per cent decrease, although the value of food sales rose 1.9 per cent.

Building material stores had a 3.8 per cent decrease in sales volume, year-on-year, and the volume of sales at service stations was down 3.4 per cent, while value of sales fell by 5.5 per cent, reflecting the lower price of fuel during the month.

Motor vehicle retailers saw demand weaken by 0.5 per cent.

In the selected overseas declarations section, imports via courier increased $1.1 million, to $12.5 million due largely to imports of clothing, medicaments and jewellery.

Imports by households via sea, rose $800,000 to $1.5 million reflecting higher direct imports of furniture, clothing, liquor and jewellery. Imports via the post office increased $100,000 to $600,000. In contrast, declarations by returning residents via the airport declined $100,000 to $5.2 million.

The Retail Sales Index was released by the Bermuda Government Department of Statistics this evening.

• Click on Related Media for Retail Sales Index bulletin

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