Puerto Rico’s retail sales rise for 6th consecutive month
Retail sales in Puerto Rico continued to rise during the months of October and November 2020, registering increases of 9.0% and 4.5%, respectively. The industry rebound has occurred to the extent that the economic reopening and prevailing health conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have allowed it.
Total sales amounted to $2.8 billion in October, compared to $2.6 billion for the same period of 2019, representing an increase of $230 million. Similarly, total sales for November 2020 were $2.8 billion, compared to $2.7 billion for the same month in 2019.
Department of Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Cidre confirmed that retail sales have increased over the past six months.
“It should be noted that the sports, musical instruments and entertainment sector has maintained significant growth in recent months. In October and November 2020 this sector reported increases of 106.5% and 66.0%, respectively,” he said.
“Both months reported similar behavior, where the sectors that reported the greatest sales increases were yard equipment and gardening stores with 33.7%, hardware stores and household materials with 31.1% and jewelry, luggage and leather goods stores with 22.0% during the month of November,” added Cidre.
On the other hand, retail sales of SMEs during October 2020 reached $964.5 million, down 4.4% compared to October 2019. However, in November sales in this sector reached $1 billion, representing an increase of 1.5% compared to the same month of the previous year.
In contrast, cumulative sales during the 2020 calendar year for the months of October and November saw reductions of -4.0% and -3.2%, respectively. Total sales from January to October 2020 amounted to $24 billion and for the same period in 2019 it was $25 billion. In the January-November 2020 period, the accumulated sales totaled $26.8 billion while in 2019 it was $27.7 billion.
“We’re confident that this year, as to COVID-19 restrictions become more flexible and the vaccine continues being administered, small and medium-sized businesses will increase their sales and the economy will rise,” Cidre said.
“We remind these businesses that there are multiple aids available in the Department of Economic Development and Commerce that can help them in different aspects of their operation,” he concluded.