Retail Sales Increase 0.5% In April 2019

July 3, 2019

After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation – measured at 1.6% in April – the overall volume of retail sales increased 0.5% year-over-year, according to the recently released Retail Sales Index.

“Three out of the seven retail sectors recorded growth in sales volume with Liquor Stores recording the largest volume increase of 7.0%,” the report said.

“In value terms, retail sales increased 2.2% to an estimated $92.0 million. Excluding Sundays, there were 25 full shopping days, the same as April 2018.”

Chart extracted from the report:

4-April 2019 Retail Sales publication

Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert explained, “After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation, measured at 1.6 per cent in April, the overall volume of local retail sales increased 0.5 per cent.

“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.”

Minister Furbert also added, “We are encouraged by the 0.5 per cent increase in the April retail sales numbers, but we recognize that we shouldn’t be overly exuberant. 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.

“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.”

The Government said, “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 per cent.
  • Food Stores’ sales volume increased 3.7 per cent.
  • All Other Store Types’ sales volume increased 5.3 per cent.
  • Service Stations’ sales volume declined 1.2 per cent.
  • Apparel Stores’ sales volume declined 3.8 per cent.
  • Building Material Stores’ sales volume declined 7.6 per cent.
  • Motor Vehicle Stores’ sales volume declined 17.1 per cent.

The full 2019 April Retail Sales Index is below [PDF here]:

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Comments (20)

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  1. Red rose says:

    Timed release to mask the appalling business confidence survey which saw a drop of more than 23 points on last year which, itself, showed a big drop

    • sandgrownan says:

      And, of course, being PLP, the figures are slightly misleading. It’s slight rise compared to last April, but still way down on April 2017, 2016 and 2015.

      • Question says:

        Yes. They are now being measured against their own dismal performance.

  2. DeOnion says:

    So if it was not for booze the figures would hsve fallen again

    • Jonathan Land Evans says:

      Perhaps it’s a kind of automatic stabiliser in the retail economy: the worse things get, the more we spend on booze in order to cope;-)

    • Politricks says:

      As it the tax raises (sugar ans sin taxes) kicked in in April 2019 it is no wonder that food and liquor increased as the prices increased in tandem.

      4 out of the 7 sectors or 57% registered another decline.

      Construction is considered to be a leading economic indicator. So the 7.6% decline is not a positive sign.

      “sometimes Government policies can have an effect.”

      Just wait until the summer CPI and retain sales index are released. By that time the new increases in the FCPT, health insurance premiums, residential and commercial land tax will have been fully implemented resulting in less and less disposable income for the average consumer.

      PLP, please do something as we are slowly dying out here economically and financially.

  3. Onion Peels says:

    Those liquor store numbers are pure BS.

    On April 1st significantly increased liquor taxes took effect. The Government is now saying that people went out and bought 7% more alcohol by volume during the month when prices increased. Hahahaha If they needed something to mix with their Koolaid they would have purchased their alcohol in March when the new taxes were announced but before the prices rose.

  4. Ringmaster says:

    All the months the sales fell, Minister Furbert was silent. A 0.5% increase sees him coming out and explaining how Government has helped retail by reducing tax on lines, sales of which fell. No wonder liquor sales are rising. That’s nothing to be proud of.

  5. Question says:

    When it goes down 13 straight months they never say a word. When it goes up by 0.5% one month Furbert appears and starts talking. Watch him disappear next month when it’s down again.

    • Jt says:

      Watch him disappear with respect to the business confidence report.

  6. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Three out of the seven retail sectors recorded growth in sales volume”

    Which means that the majority (4 out of 7) of retail sectors did not record growth.

  7. PANGAEA says:

    May be Bermuda needs a third independent party that will put Bermuda first.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      We have tried a third party 3 times now. It hasn’t worked.

      Most recently members of the UBP quit that party en mass and joined the BDA. They then changed the name to OBA and adopted old UBP ideals, thus removing the progressive ideals underpinning the original BDA

  8. With there being a presence of a multitude of Canadians in Bermuda, is it that they save their monies and forward them to Canada??
    What is it about them that they are not putting money into the BERMUDA POT??
    What are their ulterior intentions in Bermuda, keeping in mind that many are here, living??

    • Scoob says:

      Maybe give them a reason to spend their money here long term…?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      I am not sure there is a “multitude of Canadians in Bermuda”, but if there were why would they want to invest in Bermuda? They cannot own land or the controlling interest in a Bermuda business. They have no vote and they are vilified by the Government. Why would they want to invest in Bermuda under those circumstances?

    • question says:

      And here it is. The bullying and harassment that expatriates have to put up with from xenophobic Bermudians.
      Is this what Jason Hayward was talking about?

  9. Obviously says:

    Obviously there was an increase over 2018..

    Good Friday in 2018 was on March 30th and in 2019 it was on April 19th.

    Clearly there would be a increase in food and liquor sales in April of 2019 over April 2018.

    The question is whether there was a comparable decrease in March.

  10. Jt says:

    Predictable. Will you ever hold your government accountable for anything?
    You do understand Bermudians are being increasingly cautious about holding their assets in Bermuda dollars or even on island.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      I stopped investing in Bermuda 5 years ago. My decision had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the my view of Bermuda’s economic future.

      And before the attacks start, I am Bermudian, I am not a member of any political party (and never have been), and I have no passport apart from the British/Bermudian passports that every Bermudian is entitled to.