Puerto Rico’s retail activity showed a positive upturn during the first six months of the year, totaling $17.5 billion, or a 2.24 percent increase over the same period in 2011, government agency Puerto Rico Trade and Export announced Monday.
In absolute terms, the year-over-year increase was by about $383 million, the agency noted.
“These data reflect consumer confidence in the local economy,” said Economic Development and Commerce Secretary José Pérez-Riera, who also heads Puerto Rico Trade and Export. “The months of May and June 2012 reflected increases of 2.58 percent and 2.15 percent respectively when compared to the previous year.”
“The economy continues to stabilize and retail sales is another area that lets us see such growth. The first six months of this year all reflected growth compared with 2011. With these increases we see that consumers are more confident in the economy,” he said.
According to the sales report, establishments that achieved the highest increase in sales when compared with 2011 were new and used motor vehicles, with a 21.93 percent jump, auto and home goods stores, with 8.83 percent growth, paint, glass and wallpaper stores with a 6.78 percent jump, and hardware stores, with a 5.41 percent growth.
Meanwhile, seven of the island’s nine regions of commercial activity reflected sales increases, while Aguadilla and Bayamón reported drops of 2.14 percent and 1.12 percent, respectively.