Retail sales for August 2018 were $3,011,809,546, 13% more than in August 2017. Most of it’s 18 components reflect positive changes. Those changes may still be due to the reconstruction process after hurricane María. Hurricane recovery process can take up to 10 years if we look at hurricane Katrina as an example. However, overall, retail sales are doing better than 2017. Most components are growing in comparison with 2017 when considering total Retail Sales accumulated in 2018 (January-August). In an inter-monthly analysis, August Retail Sales were 0.65% less than in July 2018. There is a reflected increase with respect to last year but sales went 0.65% worst than July 2018.
The Retail Sales report segments sales between small, medium, big stores that are not chain stores and local and foreign chain stores. While small stores in August and the accumulated in 2018 had a decrease, medium, big stores and chain stores increased their sales. Small stores have lost 10.2% of sales in comparison with 2017 accumulated from January to August. Medium stores have increased their sales 68.8%, big stores have increased their sales by 13% and chain stores by 10.2%. In total the accumulated form January to August has increased 15.7%.
The Retail Sales indicator is composed by 18 different samples of data like restaurants, gas stations and their convenience store, hardware stores, departments stores, the sale of new & used vehicles and others. The methodology the Puerto Rico Trade & Export Company uses to estimate this economic indicator changed since 2016 when they left behind the SIC codes and adopted the use of NAICS codes.