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Apparel sales gain for first time since January

Total retail sales in May 2013 increased only slightly by 0.8 percent, but apparel stores saw their first sales gains since January.

Consumers spent an estimated $85.3 million on retail goods during the month.

Food store retailers experienced the largest increase in sales of 7.8 percent. In contrast, retailers of building materials reported the strongest decline of 20.7 percent year-over-year.

Residents returning to the Island declared overseas purchases valued at $5.4 million during May 2013. This contributed to a combined local and overseas spending total of $90.7 million.

After adjusting for the annual retail sales rate of inflation, measured at 0.8 percent in May 2013, the volume of retail sales fell by 0.9 percent.

There were 26 shopping days during the month, the same as in May 2012.

During May 2013, gross receipts for food stores surpassed the previous year’s level rising by 7.8 percent. Sales revenue for liquor stores increased 4.7 percent during the same period. The higher sales levels partly reflected price increases measured for both food (2.4 percent) and alcohol (4.1 percent) during the month.

Aggregate sales for apparel stores rose for the first time since January. Gross sales revenue increased 5.2 percent compared to last year.

Retailers partly attributed this gain to continued sales events and additional merchandise made available to the consumer.

Sales revenue for motor vehicle stores slipped 2.1 percent year-over-year. Motor vehicle dealers sold more cars during the month of May but the volume of motorcycles sold was lower.

Sales within the all other store types sector declined by 3.5 percent. Sales receipts for boat and marine supplies stores dipped 17.1 percent, while gross receipts for tourist-related stores dropped 6.6 percent. Additionally, consumer demand weakened for furniture, appliances and electronics as sales for these type of goods contracted 6.0 percent. In contrast, pharmaceutical sales increased 1.7 percent. Building Material Stores Building and hardware outlets experienced a double-digit dip in sales activity of 20.7 percent.

This decline was due to weaker demand for building supplies as a result of a reduction in both residential and commercial construction activity.

Sales receipts for service stations decreased 6.5 percent reflecting the impact of lower fuel prices during the month.

Residents declared $5.4 million or 3.6 percent less in overseas purchases. Lower outlays on clothing & footwear and electronic and photographic equipment were the main contributors to the decline in the total value of declarations.

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Published July 05, 2013 at 1:15 pm (Updated July 05, 2013 at 1:15 pm)

Apparel sales gain for first time since January

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