Retail sales increase in January for seventh consecutive month
Retail sales volume jumped 5.8 per cent in January as local businesses continued to benefit from more on-island spending.
January was the seventh consecutive month of increased, year-over-year retail sales. The retail sales rate of inflation for the month was 1 per cent.
Four of the seven retail sectors recorded higher sales volumes with liquor stores recording the largest volume increase of 20.2 per cent, according to the Department of Statistics’ Retail Sales Index report.
Wayne Furbert, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “This consistent increase in activity is good news for Bermuda’s economy and many local businesses.”
The all other store types sector, which includes shops selling furniture, appliances, pharmaceutical and marine supplies, improved 9.6 per cent year-on-year.
Building material stores sales were up 5.2 per cent in volume and value terms, and this was attributed to large customer projects and home renovations.
There was also a large increase in the value of goods brought in from overseas.
Mr Furbert said: “Total selected overseas declarations increased 14 per cent compared to January 2020. The rise in overseas declarations was influenced by more imports of clothing and footwear by courier as well as higher imports of clothing, machinery, appliances, electrical equipment, boats and furniture by sea.”
Apparel stores, particularly hard hit by the plunge in the number of tourists visiting the island during the pandemic, saw a 5.5 per cent decrease in sales volume. Service stations experienced a 7.4 per cent decline during the month.
There were fewer cars and motorcycles sold compared to the same month in 2020, which was reflected in a 23.6 per cent drop in sales volume for motor vehicle stores.
Mr Furbert said: "Since July 2020, Bermuda has experienced seven consecutive months of increased retail sales activity.
"We also see the continuing trend of building materials being purchased for home renovations and ongoing construction projects. All of this has helped local businesses and the economy overall. And I would like to thank residents once again, who during these challenging times, are playing a key role in supporting local businesses, keeping people employed and aiding our economy."