Puerto Rico shoppers kept a tight grip on their pockets during the month of April, when retail sales totaled $2.76 billion, remaining virtually flat in comparison to the same month last year.
The results released by Puerto Rico Trade Wednesday show a mere 1 percent growth over April 2010, when retail sales totaled $2.73 billion.
While most commercial segments showed negative growth, others, such as meat and seafood shops, vehicle and home goods stores paint, and glass and gift wrapping stores reflected year-over-year jumps of 24.6 percent, 10.5 percent and 10 percent, respectively. The report does not indicate the reasons for the increases, but it is widely known that prices for most of the items sold at the aforementioned businesses have increased.
Hardware stores took the biggest hit, losing more than 6 percent in sales in April 2010, versus the same month in 2010.
When broken down by region, the report shows that businesses in the Aguadilla sector saw a 5.26 percent growth in commercial activity, followed by Caguas, with a 5.19 percent jump, and Guayama, with a 5.14 percent improvement.
Perhaps surprisingly is the fact that the Bayamón region, which likely has the highest concentration of commercial establishments per square-mile, saw business drop by a slight 0.30 percent.
For the month of April, mid-sized businesses — or those whose quarterly payrolls fluctuate between $20,000 and $250,000 — reflected the biggest jump in sales, exceeding the $1.15 billion mark, or 3.3 percent higher than April 2010’s results.