Local merchants saw record-setting sales continue in July.

Every category of businesses experienced the booming sales, according to figures from the Maine Bureau of Revenue Services.

The local region — including all of Knox County as well as the adjacent Waldo County towns of Islesboro and Lincolvnille — recorded $86.7 million in retail sales during July. That represents a whopping 36% increase from the $63.8 million in sales from the COVID-19 pandemic-plagued July 2020.

The July 2021 sales are also the most for any month on record for the local region.

Restaurants accounted for the most sales during July with income totaling $15.4 million. That is a 79% leap from a year ago.

Lodging businesses saw revenues more than double as hotels, motels, bed and breakfast establishments, campgrounds and other lodging facilities brought in slightly more than $13 million. In July 2020, lodging businesses only brought in $5.7 million in sales.

Sales of cars, trucks, motorcycles, motorboats and other motor vehicles totaled $13.6 million during July. This translated into an 11% increase from a year ago.

Building supply sales also continued to set records as the residential construction industry remained hot during July. Building supply sales totaled nearly $13.4 million during July, a 9% increase from 2020.

General merchandise sales, largely those in department stores, jumped 24% from July 2020 to July 2021 as transactions totaled $11.8 million.

Food stores saw taxable sales total $9.6 million during July, an increase of 15% from a year ago. Most food is exempt from the state’s sales tax and not included in the Revenue Services figures.

A miscellaneous group of stores — including gift shops, antiques stores, jewelers, pharmacies and sporting good stores — reported sales totaling $9.9 million during July. That represents a 37% increase from a year ago.

The 36% increase in overall retail sales in the Midcoast is greater than the statewide increase of 32%. Retail sales statewide totaled $2.8 billion in July.

The local region has had record sales each month in 2021, surpassing even pre-pandemic numbers.

August is typically the month with the greatest sales for the Knox County region. August 2021 figures should be available in a month. Sales in August 2020 totaled $68.9 million, down from the August 2019 figures of $78.4 million. August 2019 previously was the largest single month on record for retail sales.