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Retail sales fall for twelfth month

Retail sales declined for a twelfth consecutive month in February, with all seven retail sectors down year-on-year.

Adjusting for inflation, the volume of retail sales fell 4.4 per cent. The January figure was also revised from a 2.9 per cent drop to a 3 per cent decrease.

This is the longest spell of consecutive months of declining sales volume since an almost four-year-long period from May 2008 until February 2012.

In value terms, retail sales in February decreased 2.5 per cent to $79.8 million. Imports via courier increased $0.9 million to $11.6 million, while residents returning by air from overseas declared $3.3 million of overseas purchases. Household imports that came by sea were $0.6 million, while those that were via the post office totalled $0.4 million for the month.

Motor vehicle sales were down 16.7 per cent in volume, and 17.9 per cent in terms of sales receipts.

Apparel Stores saw a 7.2 per cent decrease in sales volume, with the value of sales dipping 4.6 per cent.

Sales at service stations were down 5.1 per cent in volume and 5.6 per cent in value, while building material sales were down 4 per cent in volume, and liquor sales dropped 3.3 per cent in volume.

The all other store types sector had a 4.8 per cent decline in sales volume. The value of sales of miscellaneous goods plummeted 41.1 per cent. In contrast, sales value at pharmacies was up 0.9 per cent, while sales of electronics, furniture and appliances increased 2.4 per cent.

There was a 50 per cent boost in sales value for marine and boat suppliers as a result of higher sales of boat and boat engines compared to February 2018.

The Retail Sales Index was 80.3, which is the lowest for the month of February in the six-year snapshot of data in the latest retail sales bulletin from the Department of Statistics.

The retail sales rate of inflation in February was 2 per cent.

Click on “Related Media” for the Retail Sales Index bulletin

Below zero: retail sales volume has now declined year-on-year for 12 consecutive months, according to the latest figures for February. In the past three years, the biggest year-on-year increase in sales volume was in the summer of 2017 when the island hosted the America's Cup (Graph by Scott Neil)

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Published May 23, 2019 at 3:56 pm (Updated May 27, 2019 at 1:02 am)

Retail sales fall for twelfth month

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