Motor vehicles had the largest gain in sales. *File photo
Motor vehicles had the largest gain in sales. *File photo

Retail sales were up 3.1 per cent in January, but when adjusted for inflation the volume actually fell by 0.9 per cent.

There were 26 shopping days in January, one more than in January 2012.

According to the Retail Sales Index published by the Department of Statistics, sales activity increased in five sectors, leading to $2.3 million more being spent.

Motor vehicles registered the largest gain in sales with a 31.6 per cent increase.

The largest decline was reported in the building supplies sector with a 30.2 per cent decrease.

Overseas purchases by returning residents were valued at $4.4 million, which was 2.2 per cent less than the $4.5 million in 2012.

Receipts from food sales rose 7.2 per cent while liquor stores were up 2.4 per cent.

Apparel stores were up 6.1 per cent with retailors attributing that to improved customer service and marketing demand as well as increased demand for a wider selection of merchandise.

Sales from tourists-related stores registered a 5.4 per cent decline.

There were 27 more cars and two more bikes sold in January 2013 than the previous January helping the Motor Vehicle Sector to spike upwards 31.6 per cent.

Service stations had a 2.0 per cent increase in sales due to gas prices rising as the actual volume was less.