Puerto Rico’s retail establishments reported a 17.4 percent increase in retail sales for the month of July 2018, as compared with the same period last year, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced.
Activity exceeded the $3 billion mark, as stated in a report prepared by the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company.
For the same period in 2017, total sales were $2.5 billion. So far this year, the increase in retail sales is 16 percent compared to the same period of 2017, the government announced.
“It is important to continue advancing the transformation agenda to make Puerto Rico more competitive and to improve the conditions of our small and medium enterprises,” he said. “That’s why we’re working on energy reform and a new tax model that will benefit our private sector.”
As for small and medium enterprises, a growth of 39 percent was reported in July 2018, with a little more than $1 billion in sales, compared with sales in July 2017, which were $745 million.
In the case of small businesses, this group generated $34 million more than in the same month last year. Meanwhile, mid-sized companies showed an increase of $255 million (63.1 percent) in July 2018, when compared to the same period last year.
In the case of large companies, the value of sales in 2018 was $471 million compared to $430 million in 2017, representing an increase of 9.5 percent.
“The 39 percent increase in July means that small and medium enterprises have sold an additional $300 million,” said Puerto Rico Trade Executive Director Ricardo Llerandi-Cruz.
“It must be noted that the cumulative sales from January to July for the sector increased 26 percent compared to the same period of 2017,” Llerandi-Cruz said
“This is more than $1.5 billion extra for our small and medium sized enterprises. Total sales for this period amounted to $7.1 billion, while sales generated from January to July 2017 totaled $5.6 billion,” he added.
“This shows that small and medium enterprises have maintained a growth in sales during 2018,” he said.
Meanwhile, large chains grew at a rate of 8.4 percent. Sales reported in July 2018 for this sector amounted to $1.5 billion, in contrast to $1.4 billion in July 2017, representing a difference of $118 million.
Sectors that reported higher sales increase were new and used vehicles, with a 44.3 percent increase; furniture stores, with 41.9 percent; and patio and garden stores, with 42.8 percent.
For their part, fuel distributors reported an increase of 35 percent, while gas stations and convenience stores saw an increase of 34 percent, according to the report.
Meanwhile, sectors reporting negative results for the month of July 2018 were: sports, musical instruments and entertainment stores (-25.9 percent), specialty food stores (-11.8 percent), electronics stores (-6.1 percent), and cosmetics, beauty products and perfumes stores (-2.6 percent.)
“In the annual aggregate, in the first seven months of the year, sales totaled $19.8 billion compared to $17.0 billion in the same period in 2017. This 16 percent retail sales increase so far this year represents an additional $2.7 billion for Puerto Rico’s economy,” Llerandi-Cruz said.