Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Bermuda retail sales tumble for 11th consecutive month

Published:Monday | April 22, 2019 | 11:24 AM

HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC  – Bermuda’s struggling economy saw retail sales volume fall again in January, marking an 11th successive month of decline, according to latest figures.

Apparel stores were the hardest hit sector with a volume decrease of 22.8 per cent from last year. Motor vehicle sales volume dipped 11.8 per cent.

Overall sales volume, a measure which takes inflation into account, fell 2.9 per cent compared to January 2018. In value terms retail sales fell 1.3 per cent to US$85.8 million from $86.9 million a year earlier.

Goods brought in from overseas via courier amounted to $10.1 million, in line with January 2018. Goods declared by returning residents at L.F. Wade International Airport totalled $4.3 million, down from $4.4 million last year.

Goods delivered to residents via sea were up $0.3 million to a total of $0.8 million, while goods delivered via the post office fell to $0.4 million from $0.5 million.

The steep drop in apparel sales was put down to fewer sales being offered, according to the Retail Sales Index report by the Department of Statistics.

The dollar value of sales for both liquor and food stores rose — by 1.9 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively. However, after inflation was taken into account, sales volume for liquor stores slipped 0.6 per cent, while for food stores volume fell 0.1 per cent.

After adjusting for inflation, service station sales tumbled 5.4 per cent and building supplies sales by 0.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, gross receipts of furniture, appliances and electronic goods fell 3.2 per cent, and for marine and boat suppliers by 2 per cent. However, sales value at pharmacies rose by 2.6 per cent.

Bermuda’s national debt currently stands at US$2.4 billion.