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P.R. small-, mid-sized businesses report 28% retail sales growth thru Sept.

Puerto Rico’s small- and mid-sized retailers reported a 28 percent increase in sales from January to September 2018, totaling $9.06 billion, an increase of $2 billion from the $7.06 billion reported for the same period in 2017.

“Since Hurricane María, consumers have supported small- and mid-sized retailers more. The sales reports consistently show greater growth. During this holiday season we must strengthen this trust in local companies and buy local,” said Puerot Rico Trade and Export Executive Director Ricardo Llerandi.

Total sales for the month of September showed a growth of 43 percent compared to the same month a year ago, and exactly a year after the hurricane passed through the island. September 2018 sales totaled $2.4 billion, a $741 million increase when compared to September 2017, when sales reached $1.719 billion.

Meanwhile, total accumulated sales for businesses of all sizes increased 17.8 percent during the first nine months of 2018, with total sales for this period reaching $25.2 billion. That figure compares to $21.4 billion during the same period in 2017, which represented an increase of $3.8 billion.

The sectors that reported the largest increase in sales from January to September 2018 were furniture stores, with 57.7 percent, hardware and home supplies, with 35.1 percent and gas stations and convenience stores, with 27.8 percent.

Two sectors reported a reduction in sales for this period compared to the same period in 2017 — jewelry stores for, luggage and leather goods, with -10.7 percent and sporting goods, musical instruments and entertainment stores, with -3.1 percent.

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