Retail sales volume falls for eighth straight month
February’s retail sales volume fell 4.4 per cent compared to last year, according to Retail Sales Index figures released by the Ministry of Economy and Labour.
In value terms, retail sales revenue remained the same as the previous year (February 2021) at an estimated $87.8 million. Compared to the pre-pandemic period of February 2020, volume sales were marginally higher by 0.1 per cent.
Despite the overall decline in sales volume, two sectors experienced growth in February 2022.
Motor Vehicle Stores’ sales grew 12.2 per cent due to increased inventory of automobiles available for sale. However, this sales level was 4.7 per cent below the sales volume in February 2020 prior to the pandemic.
Building Material Stores’ sales grew 8.9 per cent due to higher demand for building material goods to support new and ongoing construction projects. The sales volume for this sector was 22.2 per cent above the 2020 sales level.
All other sectors experienced declines in sales volume compared to the previous year.
Sales at Apparel Stores decreased by 2.8 per cent, reflecting more residents purchasing apparel overseas. This sales level was 5.3 per cent above pre-pandemic sales in 2020.
Service Stations’ sales declined by 4.2 per cent from last year and 6.4 per cent below pre-pandemic sales in 2020.
In the All Other Store Types sector (comprising stores selling household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals and tourist-related goods), there was a 6.2 per cent decrease due to lower sales of pharmaceuticals and miscellaneous goods. Sales for this sector registered 2.5 per cent above the sales volume in 2020.
Sales at Food Stores decreased by 9.6 per cent, while Liquor Stores’ sales fell by 12.8 per cent. Compared to pre-pandemic sales in 2020, Food Stores registered a 5.8 per cent decline while sales for Liquor Stores were 5.3 per cent higher.
Also, overseas declarations decreased 0.9 per cent compared to February 2021, influenced primarily by lower imports of medicaments, clothing, jewellery and food products by residents via courier.