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August retail sales volume plunges 7.6%

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Retail sales plunged 7.6 per cent in August when adjusted for inflation.

It was the sixteenth month in the past 18 that sales declined year over year and the largest percentage decline since June 2018.

All retail sectors recorded lower sales volumes. Motor vehicle retailers recorded the largest volume decline of 20.5 per cent.

Building materials outlets saw a 15 per cent volume decline and apparel stores an 11.4 per cent dip.

In value terms, retail sales decreased 7 per cent to an estimated $90.9 million.

Excluding Sundays, there were 25 full shopping days, the same as August 2018.

Wayne Furbert, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “It should be noted that the large decrease in liquor and food sales reported in August 2019 when compared with August 2018 can be partly attributed to the timing of pre-Cup Match sales which took place in July this year and August last year. This means we are not strictly comparing ‘like' for ‘like' for this particular retail sector.”

Cup Match fell on August 1 and 2 this year, while last year it fell on August 2 and 3.

Foods stores saw a 7.8 per cent decline, while liquor stores experienced an 11.7 per cent fall.

Imports via courier fell $300,000 to $10.3 million because of lower imports of clothes and machinery. Declarations by returning residents at LF Wade International Airport climbed by $200,000 to $6.6 million.

Imports via sea increased by $200,000 to $1.6 million, while imports via the post office remained flat at $200,000.

In July retail sales volume climbed 1.3 per cent.

Economic indicator: retail sales volume was 7.6 per cent lower in August than a year ago (Graph by Scott Neil)
Sales dip: retail sales volume in August was the lowest in any of the past six years, this graph illustrates (Graph by the Department of Statistics)

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Published December 05, 2019 at 11:35 am (Updated December 06, 2019 at 4:50 am)

August retail sales volume plunges 7.6%

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