In-Brief

Retail sales show slight 1.7% jump through August, some sectors still reeling

Retail numbers have been picking up, although the results may be directly related to an increase in prices.

Puerto Rico’s retail sales showed a slight increase of 1.74 percent from January to August, when total activity exceeded $22.9 billion, from the $22.5 billion during the same eight-month period in 2010, the latest report released by Puerto Rico Trade shows.

The three biggest jumpers were new and used auto sales, with a 53 percent year-over-year increase to $1.9 billion; gas stations, with a 46.1 percent growth to $2.3 billion; and supermarkets, with a 27.7 percent growth to more than $3.5 billion.

On the other hand, cafeterias and restaurants experienced the biggest activity drop at 9.5 percent and sales of $2.5 billion; hardware stores, with a 6.9 percent reduction in sales that reached $451 million; and electronics stores, with a 6.6 percent reduction and sales of $578 million.

Geographically speaking, the Caguas region reported the biggest activity jump, with more than $3.6 billion in sales, up 76 percent from the $3.3 billion on record for the same period in 2010. On the other hand, the Arecibo region saw the biggest drop, reporting $2 billion in sales, down 12 percent from the $2.1 billion reported last year, the government agency’s numbers show.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 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 areas of the economy.

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