Local retail sales during September set a record for that month, but the increase was less than the annual inflation rate.

This has been the trend for much of 2022.

Total retail sales for the region that includes all of Knox County, as well as the adjacent Waldo County towns of Lincolnville and Islesboro, were $81.8 million in September, according to the latest monthly report from the Maine Bureau of Revenue Services. This was a 3.6 percent increase from September 2021 when sales totaled $79 million.

Total retail sales in September 2020 were $67.9 million.

The inflation rate from September 2021 to September 2022 was 6.6 percent.

The largest category of sales was building supplies which totaled $15.8 million in September. This was an increase of 8.9 percent.

Motor vehicle sales totaled $13.1 million during September, an increase of 4 percent.

Restaurants reported sales of $12.7 million, an increase of 7.9 percent.

General merchandise sales — those mainly occurring in department stores — were $11.1 million. This was an increase of 3.4 percent.

Lodging businesses reported sales totaling $9.5 million, a drop of 8.4 percent.

Food stores reported taxable sales of $9.2 million, an increase of 4.5 percent. Most food is exempt from the state’s sales tax and is not included in the monthly sales reports from the state.

Finally, a miscellaneous group of stores that include antiques shops, gift shops, jewelers, pharmacies and sporting goods had sales totaling $10.4 million in September. This was an increase of 2.2 percent.

Statewide, retail sales in Maine for September totaled nearly $2.9 billion, an increase of 6.4 percent from September 2021.