Retail Sales Decrease 3.9% In March 2019

June 24, 2019

After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation – measured at 1.9% in March – the overall volume of retail sales declined 3.9% year-over-year, according to the recently released Retail Sales Index.

“Six out of the seven retail sectors recorded declines in sales volume with Apparel Stores recording the largest volume decrease of 10.4% while Motor Vehicle Stores recorded a 7.9% increase in sales volume,” the report said.

“In value terms, retail sales decreased 2.1% to an estimated $91.0 million. Excluding Sundays, there were 26 full shopping days, one more than March 2018.”

Chart extracted from the report:

3 March 2019 Retail Sales publication

Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert explained, “After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation, measured at 1.9 per cent in March, the overall volume of local retail sales fell 3.9 percent.

“Imports via courier increased $0.3 million to $11.8 million. Declarations by returning residents via the airport and via the post office also increased by $0.3 million and $0.1 million, respectively.

“In contrast, imports by households via sea declined $0.2 million.”

The Government said, “Highlighted below are the March 2019 year-over-year changes for each of the seven local retail sectors:

  • Motor Vehicle Stores’ sales volume increased 7.9 per cent.
  • Apparel Stores’ sales volume decreased 10.4 per cent.
  • Liquor Stores’ sales volume declined 7.2 per cent.
  • All Other Store Types’ sales volume declined 5.4 per cent.
  • Service Stations’ sales volume weakened 4.6 per cent.
  • Food Stores’ sales volume declined 4.3 per cent.
  • Building Material Stores’ sales volume declined 0.1 per cent.

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

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Comments (45)

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  1. Toodle-oo says:

    This island is almost at the point that it’s on life support and the larger % of residents don’t even have a clue.
    It won’t be much longer before gov’t can’t even make the interest payments on our debt and they’re going to be forced to do what happened in Greece not too long ago .
    Ya goes to the ATM and pull a statement and 75% of your money is gone .
    But all that matters is 25-11 like it’s some kind of revenge joke .

    • Wahoo says:

      Glad I didn’t just take over 7,000sqft of retail space. Haha. Bring back Bob.

  2. Question says:

    The worst March figures in at least 6 years. Thanks PLP.

  3. Red rose says:

    The plp’s tax policies are working just fine i see

  4. Mb says:

    Never good when food and liquor sales going down!
    I hope the government wake up soon to the troubling track we are on and make some monumental changes
    We need VISION we need to do what sir John says and
    OPEN this island up.
    All that is happening now is more and more
    unqualified foreigners are taking over local jobs as
    they are cheap reliable labor
    I have stopped eating out as the service has been so bad of late!
    Grocery stores are always out of stuff now
    So really, we are winning here with current plp policies ??
    I don’t think so. Certain of their supporters can blame
    OBA ‘supporters’ for turning Majs list anti plp but it’s just no so. The
    messenger is the Bermuda people who are fed up with struggling.
    It kills me every time I see young kids in stores with
    a box of pop tarts and sugary drink as that’s a all they can afford or b all they can find
    Food Franchises should have been allowed years ago
    to provide relief in terms of finding food and better choices than supermarket fare.
    All that franchises are protecting are LV and
    other Italian or foreign chains and marketplace complacency
    Many of The small Local eateries
    can’t even pay taxes and health insurance right now so
    not exactly thriving
    We should have allowed foreigners to buy property
    years ago at normal price levels not 5m plus
    Coopers island should have a resort and first class
    residential community
    We should have made deeper concessions to
    hotels years ago to make it
    Cheaper and less risky to develop
    And the Biu should have made far more concessions than it has
    We all would be FAR better off today
    So VISION – let’s do it Bermuda! !!!
    Wayne Furbert please help us!!!!

  5. sandgrownan says:

    Down we spiral…downwards….endlessly….around the drain….no confidence, no one spending….

    PLP – so much winning, it’s exhausting.

  6. Last Dollar says:

    and these fools can’t see or admit we are in a recession locally they can’t even say the word but hide behind BS like finch and now space. GET FREAL BERMUDA WAKE THE F UP. They are only BS’ing there own blind followers

  7. P.L.P. have nothing to do with decreased sales. With the thousands of foreigners here on our island for work, work, work, one MUST wonder where are they channeling their EARNED dollars. Not in Bermuda.
    Their interest in our island is ZERO. Their only concern is present at their places of employment professionally.
    At the end of their Bermuda work experience, they will leave this small island, having spent virtually nil into our economy!!!!

    • Onion Peels says:

      Init. Not only have those crafty foreigners cut back on buying food locally but they’ve convinced Bermudians that it’s time to tighten their belts too; go on a diet and buy less elephants, french fries and ice cream. I mean really, how else do you explain volume declines of 7% and 4% in liquor stores and food stores. I know for myself, after that sugar tax, I’m buying less ginger beer. A few more years of the plp reign and we’ll all be skinny and sober.

      • Last Dollar says:

        and broke beyond fixing

      • sandgrownan says:

        Don’t say that, liquor is the only sure fire way to tolerate the idiots in Cabinet.

    • Red rose says:

      Wow. You really believe this?

    • somuchless says:

      You continue to make excuses for the PLP. Enough already. It’s getting old.

    • David says:

      You’re a parody

    • steve says:

      Your feeding ignorance to the most ignorant among us. Shame on you

    • sandgrownan says:

      Well, someone has to do the work.

    • PESO pete says:

      you sir are an economist that is blind deaf and dumb

    • bluenose says:

      Do you actually manage to keep a straight face when you write this stuff? If you are serious, I have no words.

    • Jack says:

      I have plenty of expat friends and colleagues and in my opinion they spend more money in Bermuda than Bermudians do. They pay very high rent to greedy Bermudian landlords, they pay excessive school fees to get their kids a decent education, they spend plenty in our grocery stores, they eat out a lot, etc, etc. The only money that expats send home is money to pay their mortgages or money to save for a home when they return to their own country. If we allowed them to become citizens and buy houses in Bermuda then they probably would send that money home either. Why should they care about our country anyway when we call them “guest workers” and give them no pathway to citizenship. Anyone who has lived and worked here for 10 years should be allowed to apply for citizenship. That is the only way to stimulate our economy.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        The current government knows full well that they can’t and won’t do anything about immigration reform because in the eyes of their supporters the thought of their ‘vote’ being diluted is positively untenable . They’d rather the island sink beneath the waves than entertain the thought that people who don’t look like them might get the chance to partake in elections no matter how beneficial they are to the economy .

    • Onion says:

      If only those foreigners has a Pathway to Status so they would be invested in their new home.

    • Mr. Apathy says:

      This is either a hilariously delusional piece of nonsense or a tremendously fine piece of trolling. I’d like to think it’s the latter, but something tells me that this poster truly believes what they have written…

      Horrifying and yet, oddly fascinating to see people perform such feats of mental gymnastics in order to write silly nonsense like this!

    • Ya serz doh? says:

      @straightforward really? So just like the bloated CS who is only paid by tax dollars from said foreigners and us in the private sector. Least theirs/our tax dollars go into the pot. Can’t be said for gov employees though. Just getting fat from our fill.

    • Gustav says:

      You are sooooo right…
      Why dont the PLP Sent all of those dirty and evil foreigners off Island.
      That the IB brings in 40 % of the income Budget doesnt matter.
      BErmuda only for the Grass Root bermudians only.
      You can call that : back to the future

    • Kevin says:

      SF the problem is you only see what you want to see ….the reason people go overseas is because 1 they have less disposable income and 2 plp tax increases are sending prices higher so its significantly cheaper to go overseas…..

      maybe its simple economics you struggle with …if you cant afford it you look for a cheaper option

    • wahoo says:

      Not sure how you function in this world with such a limited grasp of how things work.

    • ATHENA says:

      Stop the BS.

      The present administration with their rhetoric and policies have EVERYHING to do with this death spiral.

      Two years in power. You own it.

    • Birdlegs says:

      Wake up. The foreigners are not here to spend money, pay taxes, buy food and other goods and that money helps keep our fragile economy going. They also hire locals directly and I directly. I can’t keep my small business open much longer, that means three people looking for another job which won’t be there.

  8. Kevin says:

    The end is actually in sight …most of us don’t want to admit it but its coming the plp …no not really plp the great Dr. said he would bring this country to its knees and all of his little followers ..Burt , Zane all they wanted was power so bought into the philosophy and so it goes soon come again the only creatures to survive on the rock will once again be the lizards.
    the green machine …what a joke


  9. somuchless says:

    When liquor sales are down you know that there’s a problem. Houston help us out lol

  10. campervan says:

    OJ. 2012 onwards. “Shut de Island down LMFAO”
    Congratulations OJ. Chickens coming home to roost.

  11. trump supporter says:

    well let see the spin they are going to put on this one, flip flop furb and the boys.
    Probably still going to blame the opposition. Voters pat yourself on the back.

  12. Joe Bloggs says:

    Sadly, my earlier predictions for our economy seem to be accurate. Even if the PLP Government’s economic policy changed today, it would still likely take about 2 years to feel any real change.

  13. Slipnut says:

    The majority of the people in this Island are civil no so servants. When they see in their own departments people being sent out the door maybe just maybe reality will set in.

  14. JohnnyB says:

    Que theme song to Titanic when it was sinking.

  15. bluenose says:


    • Mark says:

      Indeed, OJ’s silence just confirms the Pee El Pees ineptitude.

  16. Dready says:

    Working for the political class whilst the working class get taxed out of existence.
    When the masses wake up it will be too late. Empty apts, healthcare costs sky rocketing, fuel prices through the foof, failed public education, crime and robberies happening daily and the new spanky airport servicing fewer planes.
    Taking care of themselves and ruling over the ashes. Emotion superceding reasoning!

  17. PANGAEA says:


    I dread even coming into the city.

    During the days there is no were to park in the city not even for a scooter .

    You can park at the hospital for free and catch a buss.

    Blame C of H for not having a city buss service.

    If you want big off shore business you have to cater to it .

    Free up more space , eliminate day time loading zones.

    Evening shopping works every where else except Bermuda.

    • sandgrownan says:

      There’s plenty of parking. You just have to pay for it now.

      As usual, the PLP ignore the reality. Less cash flowing in the local economy.

    • Shostrel says:

      You are not looking hard enough. There are always spaces for scooters in No 1 car park. City Hall car park is never full.

  18. LoquatLiving says:

    What happens when Government is required to bail out Morgan’s Point for $150 million?

  19. puzzled says:

    Old Frank Moniz Desousa DeSilva Furbert sang it best.

    ‘We did it….Our Way’.

  20. Trump supporter says:

    Bitcoin. Or furbert math, same result.