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Retail sales fall for ninth consecutive month

Retail sales fell for a ninth consecutive month in November, with only one of the seven retail sectors eking out a year-on-year increase.

Adjusting for inflation, the volume of retail sales fell 2.3 per cent.

It is now the equal longest spell of consecutive months of declining sales volume since the darkest days of the recession, when Bermuda saw retail sales volume decline for almost four years from May 2008 until February 2012.

The last nine-month spell of consecutive declines was from August 2012 to April 2013.

In value terms, retail sales in November decreased 1.1 per cent to $94.7 million. Returning residents declared overseas purchases of $6 million, which was 6.3 per cent lower than the same month in 2017.

Building material stores reported a 0.9 per cent in sales volume, while all other sectors dropped, with motor vehicle retailers down by 22.8 per cent.

Apparel stores decreased 3.6 per cent in volume terms, and 0.5 per cent in sales value.

Food and liquor sales were down in volume by 1 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively, although higher prices meant the value of sales increased 1.8 per cent for food, and 2.5 per cent for liquor.

Service stations saw a 0.3 per cent decrease in sales volume.

In the “all other stores” sector, sales volume was down 3 per cent. Revenue for marine and boat suppliers dropped 42 per cent as a result of fewer sales for larger ticket items. Sales of furniture, appliances and electronics dropped 4.2 per cent. There was a 2.3 per cent increase in sales at pharmacies, and a 4.9 per cent increase in gross receipts of miscellaneous goods.

The Retail Sales Index was 95.9, which is the lowest for the month of November in a six-year snapshot of data in the latest retail sales bulletin from the Department of Statistics.

The retail sales rate of inflation in November was 1.3 per cent.

See Related Media to read the retail sales bulletin

Lowest level: the Retail Sales Index was 95.9 in November, which is the lowest for that month in a six-year snapshot of data in the latest bulletin (Graph by Department of Statistics)

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Published March 07, 2019 at 12:44 pm (Updated March 07, 2019 at 1:10 pm)

Retail sales fall for ninth consecutive month

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