Retail sales volume increases 2.5% in May
Retail sales in Bermuda continued their rebound in May, albeit slightly, increasing for the second consecutive month year over year, as reflected in the May 2022 Retail Sales Index.
After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation, measured at 4.5 per cent in May, the overall volume of retail sales increased 2 per cent compared with May 2021, the Ministry of Economy and Labour said.
The growth was due to the celebrations of Bermuda Day and the Sail GP event, which increased the spending of residents and tourists.
Retail sales grew 14.2 per cent in April year over year after nine consecutive months of declines.
In value terms, retail sales in May increased to an estimated $104.4 million.
Compared with the pre-pandemic period of May 2019, volume sales were lower by 3.6 per cent, with three of seven sectors experiencing growth in May this year.
Sales at apparel stores increased 28.8 per cent, reflecting increased spending by residents due to the celebration of Bermuda Day and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. This sales level was 23.8 per cent below the pre-pandemic sales of 2019.
In value terms, sales grew 30.6 per cent.
Motor vehicle stores’ sales grew 24.9 per cent. The increase was due to more cars sold than the previous year. This sales level was 1.4 per cent above the sales volume in May 2019 before the pandemic.
In value terms, sales were 26.5 per cent higher.
Service stations’ sales increased 10.7 per cent from last year and were 6.4 per cent below the pre-pandemic sales of 2019.
The value of sales grew 19 per cent due largely to a 7.5 per cent rise in the cost of fuel, and the Sail GP event for yachts in transit.
All other sectors experienced decreases in sales compared with the previous year.
Building material stores’ sales volume fell 0.8 per cent. Sales volume for this sector was 17.6 per cent above the 2019 sales level. The value of sales fell 0.9 per cent.
In the all other store types sector (comprising stores selling household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals and tourist-related goods), there was a 1.5 per cent decrease attributed to lesser sales in household goods, boat and marine supplies.
In value terms, sales for this sector rose 7 per cent.
Sales for this sector registered 9.8 per cent below the pre-pandemic sales volume in May 2019.
Sales volume at liquor stores decreased 1.1 per cent, while food stores’ sales fell 7.4 per cent.
Compared with 2019 pre-pandemic sales, liquor stores registered a 2.4 per cent increase while sales for food stores were 5.3 per cent lower.
The sales value at liquor stores fell 2 per cent, and the sales value at food stores grew 0.1 per cent.
Overseas declarations increased 32.2 per cent compared with May 2021 and 61.6 per cent over the pre-pandemic period, influenced primarily by courier imports, which increased $6.8 million to $19.2 million.
Imports by households via sea dropped $300,000 to $8.4 million,
Declarations at the airport by returning residents grew $1.3 million to $4 million as more residents have been travelling.
Imports via the Bermuda Post Office remained the same at $400,000.
Excluding Sundays, there were 25 shopping days, the same as in May 2021.