The pandemic rebound continued in September for Midcoast merchants, as retail sales set a record for the month.

September was the ninth consecutive month monthly retail sales set a record for the Knox County region, which includes all of Knox County, as well as the adjacent Waldo County towns of Lincolnville and Islesboro. The sales were up sharply from the pandemic-plagued 2020, but also exceeded any previous year.

Some of the increase sale figures are due to inflation, but the increases locally exceed the national inflation rate of 5.4 percent that was recorded from September 202o to September 2021.

Midcoast merchants reported sales totaling $78 million in September 2021, up 15 percent from September 2020. All categories of businesses, except motor vehicles, reported increased sales from a year ago.

Building supply sales continued their strong performance that began before the pandemic struck. Building supply sales totaled $14.4 million in September, up 5.3 percent from a year ago.

Restaurants recorded sales of $11.6 million in September, a 30 percent jump from a year ago.

Lodging businesses reported sales of nearly $10.2 million, a whopping 66 percent increase from a year ago.

General merchandise sales, those largely at department stores, totaled $10.7 million. That represents an 11 percent increase.

Taxable sales at food stores totaled $8.8 million, a 7 percent increase from a year ago.

A miscellaneous group of stores that includes antiques shops, gift shops, jewelers, sporting goods, and pharmacies had sales of $9.8 million. That was a 19 percent increase.

And, sales of cars, trucks, sports utility vehicles, motorcycles, and motorboats totaled $12.5 million. That was down 4 percent from September 2020.

For the first nine months of 2021, retail sales for all businesses has reached $582 million, a 29 percent increase from $452 million for the same period in 2o20.

Statewide, retail sales totaled nearly $2.7 billion in September 2021, a 12 percent increase from a year earlier.