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Retails sales fall for 39th month

Retail sales volume fell for the 39th straight month, driven by plummeting motor vehicle sales.

Sales dropped by 8.5 percent in volume and 6.1 percent in value during July as consumer demand weakened in four of the seven retail sectors.

Motor vehicle store sales plunged 44.7 percent to almost half of the total sales recorded in July 2010 due to fewer unit sales of all vehcile types.

The number of cars sold declined by 41.1 percent while motorcycle sales slipped 17.6 percent.

Michael Butler, chairman of the Bermuda Automotive Distributors’ Association, said: “The figures are just a further decline in the industry due to the current economic situation. People are watching their money and not making capital purchases at the present time.”

But in contrast service station, apparel and building material store retailers posted increases of 8.8 percent, 5.8 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

Overseas spending was down 1.9 percent at $5.3 million compared to a year earlier.

All other store types experienced a 6.6 percent drop in receipts during July, with tourist-related stores reporting the biggest decrease in sales of 10.4 percent, and boat and marine supplies, and pharmaceutical sales both declining by 6.9 percent.

Retailers of furniture, appliances and electronics saw their sales slide 6.8 percent.

Gross receipts for liquor and food stores were also down 3.4 percent and 1.9 percent respectively for the month.

The rise in building materials was the first increase since July 2009 following a greater demand associated with new construction projects.

Apparel rose as a result of more spending by tourists and the Cup Match holiday boosted sales for the East End service stations in addition to higher fuel prices.

There was one less shopping day that in June 2010.

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Published September 23, 2011 at 10:01 am (Updated September 23, 2011 at 10:00 am)

Retails sales fall for 39th month

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