Retail sales keep on falling
Retailers’ continuing struggles were highlighted by figures released yesterday which showed retail sales were 2.7 percent lower in June than they were in the same month a year earlier.
Retail sales volume, which takes into account the impact of inflation on prices, fell 6.3 percent in June. It was the 38th successive month that retail sales volume has fallen, a streak spanning more than three years.
Consumers spent $90.6 million at Bermuda retail outlets in June, down from $93.1 million in June 2010, as demand weakened in five of the seven sectors monitored by the Retail Sales Index.
Motor vehicles stores experienced the largest decline as sales fell by a quarter. The volume of trucks sold fell by 94.7 percent, while bike sales plunged 30.5 percent. But it wasn’t all bad news as car sales jumped 57.1 percent.
Service stations saw a seven percent year-over-year increase in sales, mainly due to the increase in the price of fuel. June was the ninth successive month that service stations saw their sales increase compared to the previous year.
Apparel stores were the only other group to record a gain, posting a sales rise of 3.3 percent.
Building materials outlet owners will be hoping sales in their sector are finally bottoming out after receipts fell by only 0.4 percent in June, the best year-over-year comparison since July 2009.
The sector endured 14 successive months of double-digit falls through March of this year, reflective of the dramatic contraction taking place in the construction industry.
Food sales fell 1.6 percent, while liquor sales slipped 1.2 percent, compared to June 2010.
Within the all other stores sector, outlets selling furniture, appliances and electronic goods reported the biggest decline with a 7.6 percent decrease.
Boat and marine supplies retailers, however, recorded a 15.2 percent increase in receipts, while sales of pharmaceutical goods also increased by one percent.
The value of overseas purchases declared by returning residents at LF Wade International Airport totalled $4.9 million, 14 percent less than the $5.7 million recorded in June 2010.