Midcoast merchants reported the most sales ever for the month of May, dwarfing the 2020 lockdown figures but also far exceeding previous years.

The Maine Bureau of Revenue Services reported that the region — which includes all of Knox County as well as the adjacent Waldo County towns of Lincolnville and Islesboro — had sales totaling $63 million in May 2021.

This is a 34% leap from the $47 million local retailers earned in May 2020, but also more than the previous record of $51 million set in May 2019.

As has been the case for the past two years, building supply sales led the way with a record $14.9 in sales in May 2021, up 18% from a year earlier. The increase is due, in part, to increased prices of many building supplies, but also by continued strong, new home construction and renovations.

Motor vehicle sales continued to roar with $12.7 million reported in May, an increase of 6% from a year ago.

General merchandise stores, those largely in department stores, recorded sales up 48% from a year ago, reaching $9.7 million in May 2021.

Sales of taxable items in food stores rose 11% in May from a year ago, reaching $7.2 million. Most food is exempt from the state’s sales tax and is not included in the revenue figures.

Restaurants more than doubled their sales in May compared to a year ago. Last May, indoor dining was prohibited because of COVID-19 restrictions. This year, local restaurants reported sales of $7.4 million.

The most dramatic increase was reported by lodging businesses that were largely shut down last spring due to COVID-19 health restrictions. Local lodging businesses reported sales of $3.2 million in May 2021, nearly 10 times the amount recorded in 2020.

A miscellaneous group of stores that include gift shops, antiques stores, sporting goods, pharmacies and jewelers saw sales jump 35%, reaching $7.9 million.

Statewide, overall retail sales rose 34% from May 2020 to May 2021. Sales totaled nearly $2.49 billion statewide in May 2021.