Bermuda’s sputtering economy could be showing some life as retail sales volume was up in April, marking the third time in four months the volume has shown an increase.

The Department of Statistics released the Retail Sales Index for April on Monday. The volume was up 3.7 per cent, equalling the largest increase of the last five years.

Both January and February registered 0.3 per cent volume increases before March relapsed with a 4.1 per cent decline.

The value was up 5.4 per cent on $4.4 million more in sales, this despite that there was one less shopping day in April 2014 compared to April 2013. Consumer demand was up in all sectors except building material stores. Liquor stores saw the largest gain in sales, up 26.4 per cent. 

Overseas purchases by residents returning to Bermuda was down 9.3 per cent, marking the 12th of the last 13 months that it has been down. 

Food sales were up 5.3 per cent.

Motor Vehicle sales were up 19.4 per cent. 

Apparel stores saw an increase of 9.1 per cent with retailers attributing that to Easter falling in April this year as opposed to March in 2013. 

The Service Station Sector was up 2.9 per cent, but this can be partly attributed to a rise in fuel prices by 1.7 per cent.

Tourist-related stores saw an increase of 11.6 per cent in sales while pharmaceutical stores saw a 6.5 per cent increase.

The Building Materials Sector was down 8.0 per cent.