Retail sales down $1.3m year-on-year
Retail sales in February were down by more than a million dollars compared to the same period last year — but overseas spending increased with local residents importing $3.4 million worth of goods.
The value of the Local Retail Sales Index, which is compiled by the Department of Statistics, fell by 1.8 percent — which equates to $1.3 million — with building material retailers the hardest hit, falling 19.2 percent.
Motor vehicle retailers’ figures were also down by double digits — 15.6 percent over last year. However, boat and marine suppliers reported the biggest percentage change, and the sector has enjoyed a surge in sales with a 26.9 percent jump. And there was an improvement in the food and liquor stores sector which saw sales rise 3.9 percent.
However, apparel stores were down 1.7 percent and all other store types saw sales decreased by 1.9 percent.
With overseas purchases up three percent compared to February 2012, combined local and overseas spending amounted to $73.6 million.
The reasons for sales declines depended on the individual sector, according to The Department of Statistics, which reported: “The decline (in sales by building materials retailers) was due to the decrease in sales for home improvements and the completion of large contract sales associated with major commercial construction projects.”
It also reported that motor vehicles retailers had sold a total of 13 fewer cars when compared to February last year, and five fewer motorcycles. Service stations also saw a decline in sales, and the 4.1 percent drop was attributed to a 6.4 percent rise in the price of gasoline.
Stores which sell tourist-related products saw their sales drop by 9.2 percent, while furniture, appliances and electronics were down by 3.6 percent.
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