Retail Sales Decrease 6.8% In September 2018

December 17, 2018 | 47 Comments

After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation – measured at 2.2% in September – the overall volume of retail sales fell 6.8%, according to the recently released Retail Sales Index.

“All retail sectors recorded declines in sales volume with motor vehicle stores recording the largest volume decrease of 31.3%. The second largest contributor to the decline in sales volume was the apparel stores which registered a decrease of 17.6%, the report said.

“In value terms, retail sales also declined 4.7% to an estimated $92.2 million. Returning residents declared overseas purchases valued at $4.7 million, which was 2.1% lower than September 2017. This contributed to a combined local and overseas spending of $96.9 million.”

Chart extracted from the report:

9-September 2018 Retail Sales publication

Minister for the Cabinet Office Walton Brown said, “After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation, measured at 2.2 per cent in September, the overall volume of retail sales fell 6.8 per cent.”

“Notwithstanding the decline in the value of local retail sales, overseas declarations by returning residents, were $4.7 million.

“Further, non-commercial imports by households, excluding overseas declarations by returning residents, was $0.8 million during the same period. This is an indication of the ongoing change in the way that residents engage in retail activity.”

The Ministry added, “Highlighted below are the September 2018 year-over-year changes for each of the seven sectors:

  • Motor Vehicle Stores’ sales volume declined 31.3 per cent.
  • Apparel Stores’ sales volume decreased 17.6 per cent.
  • All Other Store Types’ sales volume declined 9.0 per cent.
  • Building Material Stores’ sales volume contracted 5.2 per cent.
  • Liquor Stores’ sales volumes decreased 4.4 per cent.
  • Food Stores’ sales volumes declined 1.3 per cent.
  • Service Stations’ sales volume fell 1.2 per cent.

“The public is advised to read the concepts and definitions on the last page of the Retail Sales Index publication prior to reviewing the data.”

The full 2018 September Retail Sales Index is below [PDF here]:

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Comments (47)

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  1. red rose says:

    Ok, so by September the AC bounce was over – so this is really worrying

  2. Family Man says:

    You know its bad when even liquor volumes decline.

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “All retail sectors recorded declines in sales volume with motor vehicle stores recording the largest volume decrease of 31.3%. The second largest contributor to the decline in sales volume was the apparel stores which registered a decrease of 17.6%, the report said.”

    There are no fewer people here so it must be that those of us still here are spending less. Now the question is why? Is it because we have less disposable income after income tax (or Payroll Tax)?

    • Truthertz says:

      Lack of confidence in the island as a whole coupled with taxpayers’ preparation for a slew of new taxes that will make their paychecks smaller and everything else that much more expensive. I know of several people that have opted against major home renovations as they don’t believe they will ever see their investment returned.

      Just imagine what will happen to even basic consumer products when they pass their 75% increase in the foreign currency purchase tax alone. Couple that with all the other new tax proposals and it is easily to see why people are cutting back as whatever little disposable income they have will now go straight to the Government and not the real economy.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Confidence ( business) in Bermuda continues to plummet under a PLP government.
      I have little doubt that it will get even worse after the next budget.

    • Trufth says:

      Correction: there are A LOT LESS people on-island now. What doesn’t get reported are the many, many expats (and their children and spouses) are leaving when their contract is up and their company no longer keeps that position in Bermuda or combines it with another position. A lot of expats are also CHOOSING to leave on their own, taking with them their disposable income.

      This population loss is evident in that most of these people stayed for the summer but then left for the Sept start of the school year for their children.

  4. Truthertz says:

    Wait till the raft of new PLP taxes come into effect.

    Then you will begin to see double digit declines.

  5. Southampton says:

    What do you expect when more Bermudians buy on-line or purchase their goods while away.
    I will be honest and say that I do the same.
    I want to shop where I can choose from many different stores. In Bermuda you are stuck with the same old thing. Sorry, but it is true.
    I work hard for my money and I want the best deal I can get for it.
    I just returned from the U.S. and the savings I made more than paid for my air fare and hotel.

  6. question says:

    The PLP is back in charge, and the economy is in steep decline.

  7. Anbu says:

    Thank you plp. Just what we all wanted for christmas. Awesome job guys. Keep up the good work. Smh

  8. This small island is run over by foreigners. They have been here for at least 6 years.
    Sooo…what are THEY doing with their earned monies??
    I bet that Bermuda IS NOT the place they pump their earned money into.
    Those monies are channelled to their respective countries.
    The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce should look at these people who do not have Bermuda’s financial stability at heart but have their own selfish fnancial agendas active, weekly/monthly.
    B.C.C. should look at those persons!!

    • David says:

      Using your “logic”, we should see a steady downtrend in sales over at least the last 6 years. That’s not at all what we’re seeing.

      But I understand you need a boogeyman cause God forbid you take off those green-tinted glasses of yours.

    • PROUDEXPAT says:

      When will you get it?!?! Expats pump millions of dollars into the Bermuda economy annually. We rent homes that we cannot own, we shop at grocery stores and other local shops, we buy cars, we eat out at restaurants, have local bank accounts, pay health insurance & payroll tax and often employ Bermudians.

      I am tired of being blamed for a failing economy! My job is advertised at each permit renewal and NO ONE has ever even applied for my job. I am not taking a job away from any Bermudian.

      This island does not survive without the expat economy!

      • Anbu says:

        Not all of us are stuck on stupid my friend. We understand that we need you guys and appreciate you putting up with the utter garbage you have to deal with here.

    • Double S says:

      Yeah always the foreigners’ fault.

      What a good little bigoted trumper you and your crew are.

    • 2 Bermudas says:

      You complain they don’t spend their money here but you also don’t want them to get Bermuda status so they can buy houses and/or invest in businesses. Talk about a hypocrite, must be a side effect of de titty milk!! Ha ha ha!!

    • question says:

      You are such an idiot.

    • Xenophobia will kill us says:

      Straightforward: It’s clueless xenophobes, who don’t seem to understand or chose to understand basic economics who are killing Bermuda’s future. It’s no wonder our children don’t want to move back here after going away to school or why fellow Bermudians are relocating to the UK. The stupidity and ignorance some have against foreigners is astounding. Thanks PLP.

      • wahoo says:

        SF doesn’t understand our most basic economics… he is the perfect plp robot. Hope he gets the top job at Victoria Hall you just know he is qualified.

    • Deonion says:

      Do you believe in alien abduction as well?

    • Mike Hind says:

      Are you EVER right about what you post?

      This one shows a complete and utter lack of understanding of Bermuda’s model AND of basic economics.

      It’s getting embarrassing!

  9. INNA says:

    Wheres the 25-11 chanters?!?!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter. 25-11 says it all. Wisdom in the collection does not exist.

  10. BermieBorn says:

    Thank you PLP ! Not.

  11. Jus' Askin' says:

    time to tax Guest Workers ;-) ;-)

  12. Triangle Drifter says:

    Waiting for the cookie jar to go empty & there is no money to meet Government payroll like January 2013. Who you gonna call? There is no miracle worker Bob Richards this time.

  13. Daren says:

    Let’s go independent see what happens

    • Toodle-oo says:

      lol . Just like the twisted thinking it takes to believe that having a baby will save a marriage that’s on the rocks.

  14. Serious Though says:

    October to December will not be great either… there is a slow down in economic activities

  15. Seller says:

    As an indicator, this is bad news. Seven consecutive months of sales declines is worrying, especially the declines in car sales and building materials. Boat sales which blipped up last month are off as well, which suggests there is little appetite for big ticket items.

  16. Ringmaster says:

    I’m surprised the PLP haven’t blamed the 2008 Global Recession. Didn’t Lovita Foggo declare recently all is well and the economy is performing well? Unless the PLP take this seriously then Bermuda is doomed. Unfortunately it’s too late and the PLP voters will bear the consequences.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Yes, the PLP voters will have to accept the consequences, along with all other voters and those who live here that are not allowed to vote (work permit holders, PRC holders and the rest).

      But remember, the majority of Bermudians voted for this PLP government so we must respect the will of the majority

  17. That’s what they voted for so deal with it. Maybe the great preacher and crew can help the people out.

  18. Trump supporter says:

    Airbitrade will fix it, all that gold being shipped in.

  19. sandgrownan says:

    tick tock tick tock

    But let’s go to the Privy Council to be allowed to discriminate. The PLP are the death of Bermuda.

  20. bermewjan says:

    Well the PLP plan to bankrupt Bermuda so that all foreigners and wealthy Bermudians who can afford to do so will leave is ticking along nicely.

    Soon only people who cannot afford to leave will be begging for food and super low paying jobs and the PLP will be able to buy up the deserted proprties at rock bottom prices, maybe even confiscate them for nonpayment of taxes.

    Once the only people left re the destitute and the PLP there should be a good opportunity to revert to tourism at rock bottom prices since labour costs will be so low since everyone will be starving and desperate for food.

    ticking along nicely, eh PLP.

  21. aceboy says:

    Meanwhile the PLP ministers bought themselves new cars!

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