Puerto Rico’s retail sales were down 1.6 percent year-over-year in September — the most recent statistic available for the sector — when some $2.84 billion in activity was reported.
The number is just about $45 million below the $2.89 on record for September 2012, according to Puerto Rico Trade and Export, the government agency in charge of tracking and releasing the island’s retail figures.
In the report released Tuesday, the agency listed electronics stores, paint and glass stores, and jewelry stores as having the biggest drops, at 24 percent, 16.5 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. However, variety stores appeared to be the biggest winners, with 27.5 percent growth during the period.
Regional sales, which are also tracked, showed that the Ponce area took a hit during the fall month, with a 6.33 percent drop, while the Guayama region saw a 5.1 percent improvement in retail activity.
When broken down by business size, the report shows that year-over-year in September, companies with a quarterly payroll of less than $250,000, or the larger “mom and pop operations,” saw a 2.3 percent drop in sales, followed by those with payrolls of $20,000 or less, which wrapped up the month with 2.2 percent less money in the till, the Puerto Rico Trade and Export report shows.