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CSO: Retail sector grew by 14% in Q3 2012
Economist Indera Sagewan-Alli said the retail sector performed well in the third quarter of 2012 and will continue to do well in early 2013 because of increased spending for the Carnival period. “Retail will perform very well in this first quarter largely because of Carnival and the extent to which imported goods and services now factor into this celebration—inputs in costume making, food and drinks, clothing, etc,” she told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
On Wednesday, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) released its bulletin on the Index of Retail Sales, which showed that retail sales in all the section levels increased by 14.1 per cent between the second quarter 2012 and the third quarter 2012. The Index is an important indicator of movements in the retail trade sector.
Sagewan-Alli said the retail and distribution sector contributes significantly to the economy. “The retail and distribution sector contributes close to 14 per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP), so it is very important from a revenue generation, employment creation perspective. It has continued to be one of the few sectors realising positive growth over the last few years, even as major ones, such as manufacturing, have contracted significantly,” she said.
Sagewan-Alli described T&T’s private sector as conservative, saying it is easier for those in the sector to make money in retail than make risky investments in other areas of the economy. “However, the continued buoyancy of this sector is also reflective of the structure of our productive sector. This, in large part, accounts for the conservatism of our private sector as there is little risk in importing, adding a mark-up and reselling. There is, though, very great risk in investing in manufacturing, agriculture, etc.
“Once we continue along these lines, the economy will remain highly vulnerable to imported shocks, such as price inflation, and unable to generate sustainable jobs for the thousands of university graduates we are churning out,” she said.
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