Latest figures released today on Bermuda’s Retail Sales Index for April 2019, show local retail sales increased slightly by 0.5 percent to measure in at 1.6 percent, after adjusting for the sales rate of inflation.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert, said: “Imports via the post office increased $0.1 million.
“In contrast, imports via courier declined $0.7 million while imports by households via sea declined $0.6 million. Declarations by returning residents via the airport remained unchanged.
“We are encouraged by the 0.5 percent increase in the April retail sales numbers, but we recognize that we shouldn’t be overly exuberant,” he added.
“We hope that retail sales will continue to increase when compared with previous years. However, we should be mindful that there are varying contributing factors to retail statistics.
“The numbers are affected by such things as the changes in people’s buying habits, people purchasing more online, buying second-hand items as opposed to new products, the decreasing purchasing power of an aging population, mortgage rate increase and yes, sometimes Government policies can have an effect,” said Mr Furbert.
“This Government has recognized the challenges in the retail sector and has sought to implement solutions to alleviate the hardships, such as reducing the customs duty rate on textiles, which include linen and blankets and shoes. Additionally, we reduced payroll tax for retail stores. Ultimately, we can all play a role in aiding our retail sector, simply by utilizing our buying power here at home. By doing that we are not only supporting our retail sector, but we are supporting all of the Bermudians who work in this industry.”
Highlighted below are the April 2019 year-over-year changes for each of the seven local retail sectors:
- Liquor Stores’ sales volume increased 7.0 percent
- Food Stores’ sales volume increased 3.7 percent
- All Other Store Types’ sales volume increased 5.3 percent
- Service Stations’ sales volume declined 1.2 percent
- Apparel Stores’ sales volume declined 3.8 percent
- Building Material Stores’ sales volume declined 7.6 percent
- Motor Vehicle Stores’ sales volume declined 17.1 percent
The April 2019 Retail Sales Index publication will be available online at https://www.gov.bm/retail-sales-index-rsi.