Retail sales index April 2018
Retail sales slide for second month
Retail sales volume plunged 7.8 per cent in April, a month when liquor stores’ takings fell by nearly one fifth.
It was the second successive month to record a substantial fall in sales volume after the 5.4 per cent drop in March.
The volume of food sales dipped by 10.2 per cent in April, compared to the same month in 2017, while liquor stores saw a 19.4 per cent drop, Retail Sales Index figures released today by the Department of Statistics show.
The commentary in the report states: “Retailers attributed the negative sales growth to the Good Friday holiday being observed during March in 2018 and April in 2017.”
Apparel stores also saw their takings slide more than 10 per cent from a year earlier. Reasons given by retailers included a shortened sales day as a result of the island’s hosting of the MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda during the last weekend of April.
Revenue for marine and boat suppliers plummeted by 48.4 per cent in April. In April 2017, this category saw their sales more than double and attributed to preparations for the monthlong America’s Cup sailing event, which would start at the end of the following month.
Sales of furniture, appliances and electronics declined 5.2 per cent while sales for pharmacies were 2.6 per cent lower. Sales of miscellaneous goods increased 8.1 per cent.
An increase in demand for construction goods for several commercial projects helped to boost building materials sales by 2.8 per cent.
The volume of fuel sales for service stations slipped 6.1 per cent year-over-year and the value of sales by 2.7 per cent, as fuel prices rose 3.6 per cent during the month.
Total retail sales value was $89.9 million, down from $95 million in April 2017. The 5.3 per cent fall in the value of sales translates to a 7.8 per cent fall in volume after the 2.7 per cent rate of inflation is taken into account.
Excluding Sundays, there were 25 shopping days in April, one more than in April 2017.
Returning residents declared overseas purchases valued at $5.2 million, up 8.3 per cent from the $4.8 million declared last year. Clothing and footwear made up more than half of the overseas purchases.
May and June, the next two months to be reported, face tough comparisons as retail sales soared during that period last year with demand stimulated by the island’s hosting of the America’s Cup.
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