Puerto Rico Sees Record Retail Sales Amid Pandemic Recovery
(Bloomberg) -- Puerto Rico is registering its strongest sales figures in more than a decade, helped by an influx of U.S. reconstruction funds that is boosting the commonwealth’s recovery from the pandemic.
The Department of Economic Development and Commerce on Wednesday reported retail sales from January-October of $30.4 billion -- up 24% versus 2020 and the best showing since at least 2009. The previous record was 2018, when sales for the period were $27.7 billion, according to agency data.
Retail sales in October were $3.07 billion, up 14.6% year over year.
The sales bump comes as Puerto Rico is emerging from a historic bankruptcy that will require it to resume paying billion of dollars to bondholders as early as next year.
In a statement, Economy Secretary Manuel Cidre said the island needs to continue seeing strong sales growth “to develop and strengthen our economy.”
The sectors that saw the biggest year-over-year growth in October were restaurants (+46.9%), electronics (+44.7%) and gas stations and convenience stores (+44.6%), the agency said.
Cidre said the sales increase also reflects the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, many of which were still in place last year.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.