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Retail sales up 7.5% in January on strong vehicle sales

Motor vehicle sales saw an increase of 50.9 per cent in January compared with the previous year, although it was a decrease of 4.2 per cent from the previous month, according to the Department of Statistics. 

SINGAPORE: Retail sales in the Republic went up 7.5 per cent in January 2016 compared with the same period the previous year, mainly due to higher sales of motor vehicles, the Department of Statistics said on Tuesday (Mar 15). Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 1.4 per cent compared with a year ago.

When compared with the previous month, retail sales fell 1.2 per cent in January. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales declined 0.5 per cent, Singstat said.

The total retail sales value in January was estimated at S$4.1 billion, up from S$3.8 billion a year ago.

Motor vehicle sales saw an increase of 50.9 per cent in January compared with the previous year, although it was a decrease of 4.2 per cent from the previous month. Medical goods and toiletries recorded the next highest increase at 16.3 per cent year-on-year, followed by supermarkets at 11.9 per cent.

Sales in some of the other categories recorded a drop, however, according to the statistics. On a year-on-year basis, telecommunications apparatus and computers recorded the highest drop of 30.5 per cent. This was followed by watches and jewellery, which logged a 8.4 per cent decline, and retail sales of food and beverages, which fell 2.2 per cent.

Sales of food and beverage services, on the other hand, fell 0.6 per cent from the previous year. The total sales value of food and beverage services in January was estimated at S$685 million, down from S$689 million the previous year.

The Retail Sales Index and the Food and Beverage Services Index measure the short-term performance of retail and F&B service industries respectively based on their sales records. The sales figures exclude taxes such as GST and COE.