Retail sales rise for sixth successive month
Building materials stores and vehicle distributors saw a spike in sales during August, playing a lead role in the 4.7 per cent increase in retail sales for the month.
Total sales were estimated at $98.5 million in August, up from $94.1 million in the same month in 2016, according to the Retail Sales Index report released by the Department of Statistics today.
The sales rise was 2.5 per cent after inflation was taken into account and came despite the month having two fewer shopping days than in 2016. It was the sixth successive month of year-over-year retail sales volume increases.
Receipts from building stores rocketed 29 per cent from a year earlier, attributed by the report to higher demand for supplies for residential projects.
Motor vehicles sales surged 28.4 per cent as distributors got in new inventory and offered price incentives.
Liquor sales rose 10.7 per cent and food receipts were up 3.1 per cent, as islanders stocked up for the Cup Match holiday.
A 7.8 per cent increase in the price of fuel drove a 7 per cent increase in service station receipts, while apparel stores saw a 2.3 per cent fall in receipts, which retailers put down to the two fewer shopping days.
Lower furniture and boat sales contributed to a 3.5 per cent decrease in sales for the “all other” stores category.
Returning residents declared overseas purchases valued at $6.6 million — up 3.1 per cent from 2016.