February’s retail sales edge higher

  • Small uptick: retail sales volume edged higher in February, helped by an extra shopping day (Graphic by the Department of Statistics)

Retail sales edged 1.1 per cent higher in February than in the same month last year, after adjustment for inflation.

Food stores recorded the largest volume increase of 5.6 per cent. Retailers partly attributed the higher sales volume to the extra shopping day in February compared with February 2019, according to the Retail Sales Index report from the Department of Statistics yesterday.

Motor vehicle stores’ sales volume rose 4.9 per cent owing to an increase in the number of vehicles sold, while service stations’ sales volume rose 1.4 per cent higher.

Three of the seven retail sectors recorded higher sales volumes.

In value terms, retail sales rose 1.9 per cent to an estimated $81.8 million.

However, building material stores sales volume weakened 14.2 per cent as a result of lower demand for supplies related to commercial and residential construction supplies.

Apparel stores sales volume slid 16.2 per cent lower than in February 2019, despite the extra available shopping day.

Year-over-year, imports by households via sea increased $0.7 million to $1.3 million as a result of more imports of furniture and machinery. Declarations by returning residents via the airport rose $0.1 million to $3.4 million while imports via the post office remained unchanged at $0.4 million. In contrast, imports via courier decreased $0.3 million to $11.3 million because of lower imports of personal goods.

The volume of sales for “all other store types” contracted 1.6 per cent, compared with February 2019. In value terms, sales for this sector decreased 0.8 per cent.

The sales value for marine and boat suppliers was 23.3 per cent lower as a result of a drop in demand for marine supplies.

Gross receipts of miscellaneous goods weakened 8.6 per cent while the sales value of furniture, appliances and electronics slipped 3.5 per cent. In contrast, the value of sales for pharmacies increased 5.8 per cent.

Excluding Sundays, there were 25 full shopping days, one more than February 2019.