Retail Sales Increased 7.7% In March 2021

June 3, 2021

After adjusting for the retail sales rate of inflation – measured at 1.9% in March – the overall volume of retail sales increased 7.7% when compared to March 2020, according to the recently released Retail Sales Index.

A Government spokesperson said, “Today, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Hon. Wayne Furbert released the March 2021 Retail Sales report.

“In March, the overall volume of local retail sales increased by 7.7%. And March’s retail sales growth is the 9th consecutive month of increase.

“This compares to the previous year’s local retail sales which reported a volume increase of 3.3%, as outlined in the Department of Statistics’ March retail sales report. In value terms, retail sales rose 9.8% to an estimated $105.7 million.

Chart extracted from the report:

March 2021 Retail Sales publication

Minister Furbert said, “The retail sales growth in March 2021 is the 9th consecutive month of increase as compared to the same month in 2020. This consistent increase in activity is good news for Bermuda’s economy and many local businesses.”

Minister Furbert added, “Six of the seven retail sales sectors experienced positive growth in March 2021. This was led by the Motor Vehicle stores, which experienced the largest sales volume increase of 117.7% as a larger inventory of vehicles were available for sale.”

The Minister continued, “Apparel stores sales increased 72.2% in sales volume. The growth in sales was associated with increased demand due to retailers being open for more days during March of this year compared to store closures after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic during March 2020.”

“March sales volume for Building Material stores grew 26.3% with increased contract sales and large customer projects.

“The All Other Store Types sector comprises a variety of stores selling household items, furniture, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals, marine supplies and tourist-related goods. In March 2021, it showed a 22.4% increase compared to a 6.0% decrease in 2020.

“March sales volume for Liquor stores increased 13.1% as households purchased in larger amounts for consumption at home since restaurant and bars were limited primarily to outdoor service during March 2021.

“In contrast, sales volume for Food stores decreased by 13.1% per cent as households purchased in larger amounts last year due to initial uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic and the anticipation of government restrictions and stay-at-home orders.

“Service Stations experienced a 6.2% increase compared to a 12.1% decrease on 2020.

Minister Furbert said, “Total selected overseas declarations increased 40.6% in March 2021 compared to March 2020. The rise in overseas declarations was influenced by more imports of clothing by courier as well as higher imports of furniture, machinery, appliances and electrical equipment by sea.”

“Minister Furbert conclused by thanking residents who once again, during these challenging times, are playing a key role in supporting local businesses, keeping people employed and aiding our economy.”

The full March 2021 Retail Sales Index publication follows below [PDF here]:

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