Retail sales reached the second highest level for a month of July in the past decade, with nearly $2.9 billion in activity, Puerto Rico Trade and Export confirmed.
The highest month in sales over the past decade was July 2018 with a total $3 billion, which the agency described as “totally atypical behavior” when compared to the years before Hurricane María in 2017.
July 2019 sales reflected a decrease of 6.23% compared to the same month in 2018, although the results were higher than the results for the 10 years before the storm.
“When comparing total sales for July 2019 with the year prior to Hurricane María, a significant increase of up to 19% is reflected,” Puerto Rico Trade Executive Director Ricardo Llerandi said.
“In July 2017 the total sales amounted to $2.5 billion and in 2016 they were $2.2 billion. This retail sales report reflects stability in economic activity in retail and a greater trust on consumer behavior,” he said.
When compared with sales from 2008 to 2017, activity reflected in the first seven months of 2019 is much higher, he said.
“The current year is moving at a good pace for retailers,” said Llerandi.
The sectors that reported highest sales increases were: electronics stores with 76.6%; pharmacies and drugstores with 8.5%; sporting goods shops, musical instruments and entertainment, 3.1%; and, auto parts stores, with 2%.
Meanwhile, sectors reporting the highest drops in sales were: furniture stores, with -17.7%; specialty food stores, with -13.1%; and new and used car sales, with -12.1%.