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Overall July retail sales fall as building materials and car sales fall

Retail sales: dipped by 1.1 per cent in July (File photograph)

Retail sales volume declined slightly in July, dropping by 1.1 per cent compared to last year, the Ministry of Economy and Labour reported today.

That figure was arrived at after adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation, measured at 5.1 per cent in July.

The July Retail Sales Index revealed that in value terms, retail sales rose to an estimated $107.9 million.

Although there was a four per cent increase in sales value, it was offset by the increased rate of inflation which affected primarily the sales of food, clothing, furniture and fuel.

Compared to the pre-pandemic period of July 2019, volume sales were lower by 6.7 per cent, with four of the seven sectors experiencing growth in July.

Service stations’ sales volume increased 6.5 per cent from last year and was 5.3 per cent below the pre-pandemic sales of July 2019.

Sales volume for apparel stores increased by 4.2 per cent, partially due to increased spending by overseas visitors. However, this sales volume was 16.9 per cent below the pre-pandemic sales of 2019.

Sales volume for liquor stores rose 5.3 per cent, while food stores’ sales volume fell 4.8 per cent. Compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic sales volume, liquor stores registered a 6.1 per cent increase, while sales for food stores were 8.2 per cent lower.

In the all other store types sector – comprising stores selling household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals and tourist-related goods – a 0.4 per cent increase in sales volume was attributed to more sales for pharmaceuticals and boat and marine supplies. Sales for this sector were 9 per cent below the pre-pandemic sales volume in July 2019.

In value terms, sales for this sector rose 7.9 per cent.

Building material stores’ sales volume and value fell 9.7 per cent. However, the sales volume for this sector was 0.6 per cent above the 2019 sales level.

Motor vehicle stores’ sales volume recorded the biggest drop, declining by 23.1 per cent, resulting from a decreased number of available and sold vehicles compared to the previous year.

This sales volume was 29.8 per cent below the sales volume in July 2019.

Imports via courier decreased by $600,000 to $13.3 million due to lower imports of pharmaceutical products.

Imports by households via sea were unchanged at $8.4 million.

Declarations at the airport by returning residents grew by $900,000 to $3.9 million as more residents have been travelling.

Imports via the Bermuda Post Office remained unchanged at $300,000.

Overseas declarations increased by 1.2 per cent compared to July 2021 and were 21 per cent higher than the pre-pandemic period.

Excluding Sundays, there were 25 shopping days, the same as in July 2021.

The July 2022 Retail Sales Index report is available at https://www.gov.bm/retail-sales-index-rsi.

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Published November 05, 2022 at 8:50 am (Updated November 05, 2022 at 8:50 am)

Overall July retail sales fall as building materials and car sales fall

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