Log In

Reset Password

Third consecutive drop in retail sales

Economic indicator: a year-on-year comparison of retail sales volume for the first five months of 2016, 2017 and 2018. The absence of the America’s Cup this year is reflected in reduced sales volume compared with 2017. The base period for the Retail Sales Index (100) is 2015 (Graph by Scot Neil/data from Department of Statistics)

Without the economic boost provided last year during the run-up to the America’s Cup, retail sales fell in May — the third consecutive month that year-on-year numbers have dropped.

The volume of retail sales was down 4.4 per cent after adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation of 2.7 per cent.

In dollar terms, the value of sales was $104 million, down 1.9 per cent, or just under $2 million, compared to a year ago.

The biggest drop in sales volume by sector was a 10.6 per cent decline reported by apparel stores. This was attributed to the absence of the America’s Cup.

Similarly, a 4.4 per cent decrease in the volume of sales for building and construction materials reflected fewer residential projects compared to an increase in renovations leading up the island hosting the America’s Cup in May and June 2017.

The figures are reported in the Bermuda Government’s Retail Sales Index for May, compiled by the Department of Statistics.

Comparing this year to 2016 — the year before the America’s Cup — May retail sales volume was 1.9 per cent higher.

Fuel sales at gas stations were 5.8 per cent lower by volume, and 1.5 per cent down in dollar terms. There were less vehicle sales — the volume falling 3.5 per cent.

Sales for liquor stores and food stores declined 5.2 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively, while sales at other store types were down 2.4 per cent, with an almost 10 per cent drop in purchases of furniture, appliances and electronics.

Revenue from marine and boat supplies jumped 46.7 per cent, while pharmacies recorded a 3 per cent increase in sales, and miscellaneous goods were up 1.9 per cent.

Residents declared $5.3 million in overseas purchases, which was 6 per cent higher than May 2017.

Combined local and overseas spending for May was $109.3 million.

This article has been updated to include a comparison with May 2016.

See Related Media for Retail Sales Index release