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June retail sales rebound as car sales jump after dismal 2020

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The volume of retail sales was 5.9 per cent higher in June than in June 2020, after adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation, measured at 1.9 per cent in the month.

The uptick was attributed mostly to increased spending on-island by residents in 2021 and less restricted sales activity compared with June 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But, according to the latest government figures, total value of selected overseas declarations increased a whopping 72 per cent in June 2021 compared with June 2020.

The value of selected overseas customs declarations jumped about $10 million — from $15 million to $25.7 million.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert attributed the rise in overseas spending to higher imports of furniture, clothing and personal import of vessels.

The report said that imports via courier increased $0.7 million to $13.6 million. Imports by households via sea rose $7 million to $9 million as a result of higher imports of furniture, clothing and vessels for pleasure and sports.

Declarations at the airport by returning residents rose to $2.7 million and imports via the Bermuda Post Office rose to $0.5 million.

Meanwhile, the value of the local retail sales for this period was $105 million, or 8.1 per cent higher than the corresponding month in 2020.

June 2020’s retail sales had suffered a 3.2 per cent decrease, compared with June 2019.

This June’s sales growth was the 12th consecutive month of increase and Mr Furbert said: “This consistent increase in activity is encouraging news for Bermuda’s economy and many local businesses.”

Highlights of June’s retail sales activity include the increased sales in motor vehicles, clothing and apparel and at service stations, which registered double-digit growth.

Four of the seven retail sales sectors experienced positive growth that month.

Sales at motor vehicle outlets increased 76.7 per cent because a substantial increase in the number of cars sold compared with decreased demand for available vehicles in the previous year.

Apparel stores’ sales rose 34.9 per cent compared with a 43.3 per cent decrease in 2020.

Sales at service stations grew 15.5 per cent, boosted by a greater number of vehicles in transit as well as an 8.2 per cent increase in fuel prices.

Sales in building material stores increased 7.6 per cent because of continued demand for home improvement products and materials as well as an increase in contract sales.

The ministry said that streamlined processes and policies implemented by the government regarding planning applications helped to encourage many building and renovation projects to proceed.

The all other store types sector comprises a variety of stores selling household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals, marine supplies and tourist-related goods. In June this sector registered a 4.6 per cent decrease.

June sales volume for food stores decreased 1.5 per cent, and the sales volume for liquor stores also fell by 3.4 per cent.

The June 2021 Retail Sales Index report is at https://www.gov.bm/retail-sales-index-rsi.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert has announced June 2021 retail sales figures (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published October 15, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated October 15, 2021 at 8:00 am)

June retail sales rebound as car sales jump after dismal 2020

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