Overseas purchases jump as local sales decline
Overseas purchases by Bermuda residents jumped to $25.6 million in July, an increase of $6 million year-over-year.
The jump was reported in the monthly Retail Sales Index Report released on Friday by the Ministry of the Cabinet Office.
The 30.6 per cent rise was influenced by higher imports of clothing, furnishings and electrical machinery and equipment imported by households via sea, which jumped $5.1 million year-over-year to $8.4 million.
While overseas sales soared, local purchases slumped, as the Retail Sales Index dropped for the first time in more than a year.
After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation, which was measured at three per cent in July, the overall volume of retail sales decreased by 6.7 per cent when compared to July 2020.
The decline was attributed mostly to decreased spending on-island by residents in 2021 compared to the increased spending in July last year after the easing of Covid-19 related restrictions.
In value terms, retail sales fell 3.9 per cent to an estimated $104.7 million compared to the previous year.
In the selected overseas declarations sector, imports via courier decreased by $1.7 million to $13.9 million.
Declarations at the airport by returning residents rose to $3 million and imports via the Bermuda Post Office rose to $300,000.
Across the seven retail sales sectors, only building material stores recorded an increase.
Sales rose 3.8 per cent in volume terms and 3.7 per cent in value terms.
A Government statement claimed this sector continued to benefit from the streamlined Government processes and policies such as expedited planning applications, which encouraged many construction and renovation projects to proceed.
Apparel stores’ sales declined slightly by two per cent compared to a 21.7 per cent loss in 2020.
The sales volume of food stores were down by 4.9 per cent, while the sales volume of liquor stores fell 6.1 per cent.
In value terms, sales for food stores decreased by 4.1 per cent while sales for liquor stores decreased by 8.6 per cent.
Motor vehicle stores sales volume dropped by 2.7 per cent reflecting a lack of inventory related to supply chain challenges. In value terms, sales increased by 0.3 per cent.
The volume of sales for service stations decreased by 3.7 per cent, despite the value of sales rising by 10.6 per cent due to a 14.7 per cent increase in fuel prices.
Sales volume for the all other stores types sector decreased by 15.4 per cent. In value terms, sales for the sector decreased by 10.7 per cent.
Excluding Sundays, there were 25 shopping days in the month, the same as in July 2020.
To review the full report, see https://www.gov.bm/retail-sales-index-rsi