Why retail sales are drying up

It is very frustrating to watch as retailers come out blaming online purchases for the decline in retail sales when it is quite likely it could largely be attributed to the decline in the number of non-Bermudian workers.

Let’s follow up on a few charts we threw together back in September when the last employment brief was released.  At the time we used the 2000 census numbers as well as the annual employment briefs to approximate the impact of non-Bermudian job losses on housing demand and the impact of non-Bermudian expenditures on the local economy.

Let’s convert the approximate impact of non-Bermudian population growth on weekly expenditure chart to a bar chart (it was previously an area chart) to better appreciate the impact.

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In in 2009, we saw more than $400,000 less spent than in 2010 and more than $800,000 less spent in the economy in 2010 than 2009 each week.  To put this in context, that means that each week we saw nearly $1.3 million less spent in the local economy each week in 2010 vs. 2008.  That’s nearly $68 million less spent in the economy in 2010 vs 2008, and $45 million less spent in 2010 than 2009.

Still not obvious?  let’s look at the year over year total approximation of non-Bermudian expenditure. 

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Still not clear enough?  Ok, let’s break it down further, here’s the approximate impact of the year over year loss of non-Bermudian expenditure in 2009, 2010

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$3 million less sent on food in 2009 over 2008, $6 million in 2010 over 2009.  The list goes on, clothing, housing, household goods, transportation, education.  This isn’t even 2011 numbers included.  Many millions less spent in the economy each year.

Still think online purchases are the biggest factor and that a duty increase on personal imports will make much of a difference?

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