Retail sales fell 3.1% in January

Retail sales fell 3.1 per cent in January by volume, making it the 21st month out of the last 23 when sales volume in Bermuda has fallen year-on-year.

In value terms, retail sales declined 2.4 per cent to an estimated $84.4 million, a drop of $2 million over a year ago.

However, there was an increase in selected overseas declarations, which were up 14.1 per cent compared to the same month in 2019.

Six of the seven retail sectors recorded declines in sales volume, with only liquor sales volume increasing, by 0.3 per cent.

The building material stores sector recorded the largest volume decline of 14.9 per cent, while sales volume in the apparel stores sector saw a double-digit decline of 12.9 per cent.

Sales in the motor vehicle stores’ sector dropped by 4.6 per cent, food stores’ sales volume fell two per cent, service stations’ sales volume decreased by 2.1 per cent, and all other stores types’ volume dropped 2.5 per cent.

The latest figures were adjusted for the retail sales rate of inflation, which in January was 0.8 per cent.

In value terms, sales revenue for building material stores declined 14.3 per cent as a result of decreased demand for building supplies.

Sales revenue for apparel stores fell by 12.1 per cent year-over-year, while motor vehicle stores’ sales receipts dropped by 4.5 per cent due partly to a drop in demand for higher-priced vehicles.

The value of sales for service stations fell 2.5 per cent, which reflected a 0.5 per cent decline in the price of fuel during January.

Sales value for food stores rose 0.1 per cent, while the sales value of liquor stores rose 3.9 per cent, which was partly attributed to the increase in prices for food and alcohol of 2.2 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively.

In the all other store types sector, the sales value for marine and boat suppliers was up by 19.7 per cent. Meanwhile, gross receipts of miscellaneous goods fell by 11.3 per cent, the sales value of furniture, appliances and electronics dropped 1.7 per cent, and the value of sales for pharmacies declined by 0.2 per cent.

Year-over-year, imports by households via sea increased by $1 million to $1.8 million as a result of more imports of furniture and electrical machinery.

Imports via courier increased by $600,000 to $10.7 million due to higher imports of pharmaceutical products.

Declarations by returning residents via the airport rose by $500,000 to $4.8 million while imports via the post office increased by $100,000 to $500,000.

Excluding Sundays, there were 26 full shopping days in the month, the same as in January 2019.

The Retail Sales Index was compiled by the Department of Statistics.

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Published Apr 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm (Updated Apr 3, 2020 at 1:34 pm)

Retail sales fell 3.1% in January

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