Retail sales show slight 1.7% jump through August, some sectors still reeling

Retail numbers have been picking up, although the results may be directly related to an increase in prices.

Puerto Rico’s retail sales showed a slight increase of 1.74 percent from January to August, when total activity exceeded $22.9 billion, from the $22.5 billion during the same eight-month period in 2010, the latest report released by Puerto Rico Trade shows.

The three biggest jumpers were new and used auto sales, with a 53 percent year-over-year increase to $1.9 billion; gas stations, with a 46.1 percent growth to $2.3 billion; and supermarkets, with a 27.7 percent growth to more than $3.5 billion.

On the other hand, cafeterias and restaurants experienced the biggest activity drop at 9.5 percent and sales of $2.5 billion; hardware stores, with a 6.9 percent reduction in sales that reached $451 million; and electronics stores, with a 6.6 percent reduction and sales of $578 million.

Geographically speaking, the Caguas region reported the biggest activity jump, with more than $3.6 billion in sales, up 76 percent from the $3.3 billion on record for the same period in 2010. On the other hand, the Arecibo region saw the biggest drop, reporting $2 billion in sales, down 12 percent from the $2.1 billion reported last year, the government agency’s numbers show.

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