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Slump continues for retail sales

Retail sales volume fell slightly in January year-over-year (File photograph)

Retail sales volume in Bermuda decreased by 0.2 per cent year-over-year in January, according to figures released by the Ministry of Economy and Labour yesterday.

That figure was determined after adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation, which was measured at six per cent in January.

In value terms, retail sales increased to an estimated $93.8 million, which represented a 5.7 per cent rise in sales value.

The increase in sales value was caused by elevated rates of inflation for all other stores types and food.

Two of the seven sectors recorded volume decreases in January.

The sales volume for building material stores fell 7.9 per cent. The sales volume for this sector was 22.2 per cent below the 2019 sales level.

The sales volume at apparel stores rose 13.6 per cent year-over-year and was 15.7 per cent below the pre-pandemic sales of 2019.

The sales volume for food stores fell 10.8 per cent, while liquor stores’ sales volume rose 8.6 per cent.

Compared with the pre-pandemic sales volume of 2019, food stores sales decreased 16.3 per cent, while sales at liquor stores were 6.7 per cent higher.

In the all other store types sector -- comprising stores selling household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals and tourist-related goods -- sales volume increased 1.7 per cent.

Sales for this sector registered 3.9 per cent above the pre-pandemic sales volume over the same period in 2019.

Service stations’ sales volume increased six per cent from last year and was 6.3 per cent below the pre-pandemic sales in January 2019.

Compared with the previous year, motor vehicle stores’ sales volume rose 5.1 per cent due to a higher inventory of vehicles available along with sales incentives.

The sales level was 17 per cent below the sales volume in January 2019 before the pandemic.

Overseas declarations decreased 7.7 per cent compared with January 2022 and were 45.5 per cent higher than in the pre-pandemic period.

Imports via courier decreased $2.7 million to $11.3 million due to the lower importations of machinery and mechanical appliances.

Imports by households via sea remained the same at $6.9 million.

Declarations at the airport by returning residents increased $0.6 million to $4 million.

Imports via the Bermuda Post Office increased $0.2 million to $0.5 million.

Excluding Sundays, there were 25 shopping days, one more day than in January 2022.

The January 2023 Retail Sales Index can be viewed at https://www.gov.bm/retail-sales-index-rsi.

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Published April 27, 2023 at 7:46 am (Updated April 28, 2023 at 9:02 am)

Slump continues for retail sales

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