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Island records slight fall in retail sales

Economic indicator: by volume, retail sales were down 0.8 per cent, year-on-year, in September

The volume of retail sales in September fell 0.8 per cent as sales of motor vehicles and fuel declined, bringing to an end six successive months of year-on-year sales volume increases.

However, when factoring in the retail rate of inflation of 2.6 per cent, the value of sales for the month was $96.3 million, or 1.9 per cent higher than September 2016.

The figures are contained in the Retail Sales Index report released by the Department of Statistics.

The motor vehicles sector had the largest decline in sales volume, down 10.1 per cent, while building material stores saw the volume of sales rise 12.6 per cent.

The volume of fuel sales at service stations were down 3.3 per cent, but the increase in the cost of premium fuel, which was up 13.7 per cent, resulted in the value of sales rising 9.8 per cent.

Food sales were up 1 per cent by volume, while liquor store sales were down 4 per cent.

Apparel stores recorded a 2.3 per cent increase in sales by volume, and a 4.5 per cent rise by value.

Sales volume in the “other store” category were down 4.7 per cent, with marine and boat suppliers reporting a 74.4 per cent drop in sales value due to lower high-ticket item sales.

Residents declared $4.8 million in overseas purchases during September, which was 4.3 per cent more than for the same month last year.

See Related Media for Retail Sales Index report