The local retail economy has slowed again, according to the latest state report.

Overall retail sales throughout the Midcoast in April were down 2 percent from a year ago, according to the Maine Bureau of Revenue Services report released this week.

In the past six months, there was only one month in which sales were up from a year earlier. March sales were up 1 percent. Sales were down 2 percent in February, down 1 percent in January and down 2 percent in December.

The last significant increase came in September 2010 when sales were up 3 percent from September 2009.

In April, retail sales for the region that includes all of Knox County as well as the adjacent Waldo County towns of Lincolnville and Islesboro totaled $26.9 million, down 2 percent from $27.5 million.

Building supply sales plummeted 9 percent, dropping to $6.2 million.

Sales of taxable items at food stores dropped 4 percent, slipping to $3.6 million. Most food is exempt from the state’s sales tax and is not included in the report from the revenue services department.

Department store sales dropped 3 percent with merchants taking in slightly less than $5 million during April.

A group of stores that includes gift shops, antiques stores, jewelers, pharmacies and sporting goods reported sales down 10 percent to about $2.3 million.

Restaurant sales slipped 2 percent to $3.6 million.

Lodging businesses also reported sales down 2 percent, slipping to $671,000.

The only category of businesses in the Midcoast that reported higher sales were motor vehicle dealerships, which reported sales at $5.4 million, a jump of 12 percent.

Statewide, retail sales slipped 1 percent, falling to $1.061 billion.

Other regions

In Lincoln County, overall retail sales fell 6 percent to slightly more than $15 million.

Motor vehicle sales in Lincoln County slipped 1 percent to slightly less than $5 million.

Taxable sales at food stores fell 4 percent to $3 million.

Building supply sales in April dropped 30 percent from a year ago in Lincoln County to $2.3 million.

Department store sales rose 4 percent to $1.1 million.

The sales in stores that include gift shops rose 4 percent to $1.5 million.

Restaurant sales rose 3 percent to $2 million.

Lodging businesses reported sales unchanged at $178,000.

Overall retail sales in other areas of Maine for April were:

* Augusta $68 million, up 3 percent.
* Bangor $109 million, up 1 percent.
* Bar Harbor $5.7 million, down 4 percent.
* Belfast $10.4 million, down 2 percent.
* Biddeford $50 million, down 2 percent.
* Brunswick $43 million, down 2 percent.
* Ellsworth $28 million, down 3 percent.
* Kittery $34 million, unchanged.
* Lewiston $64 million, down 1 percent.
* Portland $161 million, up 3 percent.
* Presque Isle $26 million, down 1 percent.
* Waterville $40 million, down 1 percent.