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P.R. retail sales down 2.2% Y-O-Y in March

Retail sales for March 2016 were down year-over-year.

Retail sales for March 2016 were down year-over-year.

Puerto Rico’s retail sales reflected a reduction of $71.5 million, equivalent to a 2.25 drop when compared to March 2015, Puerto Rico Trade and Export revealed Thursday.

Total retail sales in March 2016 totaled $3.10 billion, while in 2015 this figure was $3.17 billion, agency Executive Director Francisco Chévere confirmed.

Commercial establishments that reflected greater reduction in sales were pharmacies (-12.3 percent,) gas stations (-11.3 percent,) furniture stores (-10.3 percent,) and clothing stores for youth and gentlemen (-7.41 percent.)

Meanwhile, nine commercial sectors recorded increased sales, namely automotive and home goods stores (6.5 percent,) womenswear stores (4.7 percent,) and new and used vehicles (3.9 percent,) the agency’s data shows.

On the other hand, the Fajardo eastern region was the only one to record sales growth in March 2016, with a 3.09 percent jump, when compared to the same month of last year. On the other hand, regions with the greatest contractions were: Caguas (-7.3 percent,) Mayagüez (-3.7 percent,) Guayama (-3.6 percent,) and Arecibo (-2.0 percent.)

Small- and mid-sized businesses showed a decreate in sales of $55.8 million in March 2016, or -2.48 percent when compared to the same 30-day period last year. Sales in this sector accounted for 70.7 percent of total retail sales in Puerto Rico, agency data shows.

Total cumulative sales for January to March 2016 totaled $9 billion, a decrease of 2.26 percent compared to the same period of 2015. The total cumulative sales for this period in 2015 amounted to $9.2 billion.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 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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