DDEC: October retail sales up 2.5% over year-ago
By The Star Staff
Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) Secretary Manuel Cidre Miranda on Wednesday released the Retail Sales Survey for October of this year, reflecting an increase in sales of 2.5% compared to the same month in the year 2021.
The sales registered for October 2022 totaled some $3.1 billion, despite the island still facing the consequences of the passage of Hurricane Fiona.
“Even within Puerto Rico’s situation during that post-Fiona recovery period, our economy began to reflect slight increases in key sectors such as hardware stores and supermarkets,” the DDEC secretary said. “In the case of small businesses, these were strongly affected by the lack of electricity and water services, which improved over time. Fuel costs, problems in global supply chains, which affect the availability of certain products in stores, added to the problem. Despite the 2.5% growth occurring at a lower growth rate, these sales of October 2022 exceed the sales registered before the pandemic (March 2020) by 53.7%.”
The Business Intelligence Division of the DDEC’s Assistant Secretariat for Strategic Sectors conducted the survey.
The study revealed that the economic sectors that reported the highest increases in October 2022 were: Sports stores, musical instruments and entertainment (+21.5%); specialty food stores (+14.2%); hardware stores and household materials (+12.9%); supermarkets and alcoholic beverage stores (+12.3%); pharmacies and drug stores (+11.8%); and restaurants and establishments serving alcoholic beverages (+10.9%).
On the other hand, among the sectors that presented reductions in their sales were: Electronic items stores (-18.7%), new and used motor vehicles (-10.5%), and auto parts stores (-9.0%).
Within the line of small and midsize enterprises (SMEs by its Spanish initials), accumulated sales during October 2022 reached $951.3 million, which represented a 0.4% reduction at an annual rate.
The accumulated value of retail sales during the 10 months of the current calendar year 2022 (January-October), presents an increase of 0.7%, compared to the same period of the previous calendar year of 2021, and reach $30.5 billion.