March 2017 Retail Sales
Retail sales rebounded in March
Retail sales bounced back in March after three previous months of declines.
Sales increased to $96.5 million, 5.3 per cent up on the $91.6 million recorded for March last year.
After adjustment for inflation, which was 1.9 per cent in March, the volume of retail sales increased by 3.4 per cent.
All sectors covered in the Retail Sales Index logged increases in sales revenue, with the exception of clothing stores, which saw a 0.9 decrease.
Car dealers were the biggest winners of the month, notching up sales gains of 23.1 per cent.
Returning residents declared overseas purchases totalling $3.7 million, an 8.8 per cent increase on the 3.4 million in the same month last year and giving a combined spend in the retail sector of $100.2 million.
The increase in motor vehicle sales receipts was attributed to a 23 per increase in sales volume.
Receipts from the sale of building materials also showed a major increase, up 22.8 per cent compared to March last year.
The increase was put down to increased demand for supplies for building projects. Adjusted for inflation, the increase was 21.2 per cent.
Sales at service stations rose 12.9 per cent as a result of a 13.9 per cent increase in the cost of fuel. After adjustment for inflation, the sales volume for fuel dropped 3.6 per cent.
The all other store types category, receipts for the sale of furniture, appliances and electronics went up 21.6 per cent, but pharmacies slipped 1.4 per cent, attributed to lower prescription sales.
Miscellaneous sales also fell, down 10.5 per cent, while gross receipts in the marine and boats segment fell 17 per cent.
After factoring in inflation, the increase in the all other store types category went up by 1.6 per cent.
Clothing stores sales, after adjustment for inflation, fell by 2.4 per cent.
Liquor sales saw a 1.4 per cent rise in March, while food sales 0.6 per cent up year-on-year.
In volume terms, sales at liquor and food stores were 3.4 per cent and 1.7 per cent lower respectively.
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