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Singapore retail sales down 2.1% in May

Singapore retail sales down 2.1% in May

Shoppers walking along Orchard Road. (File photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Retail sales in Singapore decreased 2.1 per cent in May 2019 as compared to a year ago, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics (Singstat) on Friday (Jul 12).

The estimated total retail sales value in May 2019 was about S$3.7 billion, with online retail sales making up about 5.3 per cent. 

On a month-on-month basis, retail sales fell 2.2 per cent. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales declined 1 per cent, the authority said.

There were mixed results across the different retail sectors. 

Compared to May 2018, sales of both motor vehicles and furniture and household equipment industries declined 7.5 per cent in May 2019, as a result of fewer motor vehicles sold and lower sales of furniture respectively, Singstat said. 

Similarly, computer and telecommunications equipment and optical goods and books industries and department stores registered declines in sales of between 4.7 per cent and 7 per cent. 

The watches and jewellery industry, however, grew by 4.1 per cent. 

Sales of petrol service stations increased 1.4 per cent, but the sales volume recorded a small decline of 0.6 per cent after exclusion of the price effect.

Month-on-month, the sales of the motor vehicles industry decreased 8.4 per cent compared to April 2019.

"The sales decrease arose from lower volume of motor vehicles sold, which may be attributed to the lower COE quota of motor vehicles for the May to July 2019 period," Singstat said.

The clothes and footwear industry, department stores and food retailers registered declines in sales of between 2.6 per cent and 6.1 per cent.

The sales of the watches and jewellery industry grew by 3.1 per cent, with a higher demand for gold jewellery. The petrol service stations and mini-marts and convenience stores also saw gains of 1.6 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

(Table: Singstat)


As for the sales of food and beverage services, it grew by 2 per cent in May 2019 compared to the same period last year.

As compared to the previous month, the sales of food and beverage services fell 1 per cent in May.

The total sales value of food and beverage services in May 2019 was estimated at S$849 million, compared to S$833 million in May 2018, Singstat added.

Year-on-year, turnover of restaurants grew 2.7 per cent; while sales at fast food outlets increased by 1.8 per cent. Food caterers saw a drop of 1.2 per cent in sales, while other eating places like cafes increased 2.2 per cent in May. 

Month-on-month, fast food outlets, other eating places and food caterers experienced declines in sales of between 1.7 per cent and 2.5 per cent. Only the turnover of restaurants rose 1 per cent.

(Table: Singstat)

The retail sales index and the food and beverage services index measure the short-term performance of retail and F&B service industries based on their sales records. 

Sales figures refer to the value of retail goods or food and beverages sold to consumers during the month, excluding taxes such as Goods and Services Tax.

Source: CNA/aa(rw)


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