MONDAY, JUNE 20: It’s been three years since the Retail Sales Index showed an increase.

The Department of Statistics released the RSI showing April 2011 was down 0.9 per cent from the previous April, marking 36 straight months of declines in retail sales volume.

After adjusting for inflation, the volume of retail sales shrunk by 3.6 per cent.

The value of overseas purchases declared by residents remained steady at $6.1 million, the same as April of 2010.

As the downturn in the economy sees residents trying to save a buck, the volume of car sales fell by 15.5 per cent, but the number of motorcycles sold increased by 20.3 per cent.

The decline in construction continued to hurt the building materials sector which was down 9.2 per cent. The sector stood at 67.1 points, the lowest recorded since 2005.

Sales from other sectors were also hard hit.

Sales of furniture, appliances, and electronics were down 11.3 per cent.

Clothing stores were down 1.9 per cent while tourist stores were down 6.8 per cent.

Service stations saw a 4.6 per cent increase in growth, but that was mainly due to a 15 per cent rise in the price of gasoline.

Food and liquor stores did record a rise in sales, with grocery stores seeing a 6.7 per cent increase in sales while liquor stores saw sales climb 5.4 per cent.

The Department of Statistics attributed the increased sales due to Easter falling in April this year as opposed to March in 2010.