Midcoast merchants saw sales during October decline from a year ago.

This is the first year-to-year decline for a month since the start of the pandemic.

Retailers from a region that includes Knox County and the adjacent Waldo County towns of Lincolnville and Islesboro reported taxable sales of $64.7 million during October, according to the most recent monthly report from the Maine Bureau of Revenue Services. This is down 4 percent from the record October sales of $66.7 million realized in 2021.

The October 2022 sales, however, were the second most on record. In October 2020, Midcoast retail sales totaled $57.5 million. In 2019 they totaled $53 million.

In addition, inflation from October 2021 through October 2022 was 7.7 percent, further eroding the revenues received by merchants.

The largest category of Midcoast sales for October was building supplies which saw a 2 percent increase from a year earlier, reaching $14.7 million.

Motor vehicle sales declined 9 percent in October from a year ago, falling to $11.2 million.

General merchandise sales, those largely sold in department stores, saw sales drop 10 percent in October compared to a year earlier.

Restaurants saw sales about the same in October at $9.6 million.

Lodging places reported sales down 6 percent from a year ago, falling to $6.1 million.

Food stores reported sales of taxable items down 1 percent in October from a year ago, totaling nearly $7.4 million. Most food is exempt from the state’s sales tax and not included in the state revenue figures.

A category of miscellaneous stores such as gift shops, antiques shops, pharmacies, sporting good stores, and jewelers had sales that totaled $6 million, down 10 percent from the previous October.

Statewide, retail sales totaled $2.55 billion in October, an increase of 4 percent from a year ago.