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Puerto Rico retail sales grow slightly in March, April

This graphic shows Puerto Rico's retail sales trends from April 2013 to April 2014. (Source: Puerto Rico Trade and Export)

This graphic shows Puerto Rico’s retail sales trends from April 2013 to April 2014. (Source: Puerto Rico Trade and Export)

Puerto Rico’s retail sector reflected positive year-over-year growth in March and April, when activity grew by 2.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, Puerto Rico Trade and Export informed Wednesday.

According to the most recent numbers, the majority of the retail sectors reflected growth during both months, although activity seemed to dip in April. While 18 sectors showed growth in Marcy, 13 reported doing so the following month, said agency Executive Director Francisco Chévere.

Business sectors that reported greater increase in March were women’s clothing stores with 29.4 percent, stores dedicated to paint, glass and wallpaper sales, with 23.6 percent and hardware stores, with 21.6 percent. In April, women’s clothing stores reported a 30.5 percent growth, with hardware stores, 12.2 percent and men’s clothing stores, 9.8 percent.

“The upward trend in retail sales has been clear for the past seven months. This shows that the different efforts that this administration has been doing are showing and this is reflected in the various business sectors,” Chévere said. “We are seeing a consumer that is more confident in the economy to make their purchases.”

There are a total of 21 retail sectors included in the agency’s survey. The sectors with the most negative results in March were department stores, down 28.6 percent, and new and used car sales, which were down 23.4 percent that month, and down 72.5 percent in April.

The March retail sales report showed a 3.5 percent overall year-over-year growth, with sales exceeding the $3 billion mark, an increase of $105.1 million. Meanwhile, the April numbers show a 1.3 percent growth, with sales exceeding $2.9 billion, for a $39 million year-over-year difference.

Sales for the January-April 2014 period reached $11.8 billion, nearly 2 percent above the same period the prior year.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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