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Retail sales fall, in yearlong trend

A quiet Washington Mall scene in 2023. The Retail Sales Index fell almost every month of the year (Photograph by David Fox)

Retail sales fell for the fifth consecutive month in December compared with the corresponding month in 2022.

The latest figures, showing a 2.3 per cent decrease, were released in the Government’s Retail Sales Index, after adjusting for inflation of 2.3 per cent.

In value terms, retail sales remained unchanged at an estimated $118.9 million, when compared with December 2022. Excluding Sundays, there were 24 shopping days, one fewer than in December 2022.

The annual percentage change in sales volume fell for 11 out of the 12 months of 2023.

Overseas declarations decreased 3.3 per cent compared with December 2022. Imports via courier decreased $3.4 million to $12.8 million, a decrease attributed to the lower importations of articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted nor crocheted.

Imports by households via sea increased $1.6 million to $12 million. Declarations at the airport by returning residents increased $0.6 million to $6.3 million. Imports via the Bermuda Post Office increased $0.1 million to $0.7 million.

Five of the seven sectors recorded year-to-year sales volume index decreases while four of the sectors recorded sales value index decreases during December 2023.

• The sales volume for Food Stores fell 0.2 per cent

• The sales volume for Liquor Stores fell 0.8 per cent

• The sales volume for Building Material Stores fell 3 per cent

• The sales volume for Apparel Stores fell 6.1 per cent

• The sales volume in the All Other Store Types sector (comprising stores selling household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and tourist-related goods) decreased by 6.0 per cent

The following sectors had an increase in sales:

• Motor Vehicle Stores sales volume increased 3.3 per cent

• Service Stations sales volume grew 3.8 per cent

Selected overseas declarations decreased 3.3 per cent compared with December 2022

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Published May 23, 2024 at 6:28 pm (Updated May 26, 2024 at 5:35 pm)

Retail sales fall, in yearlong trend

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