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Singapore retail sales drop 3.4% in February, ending 5-month growth streak

Singapore retail sales drop 3.4% in February, ending 5-month growth streak

People along Orchard Road in Singapore on Jan 5, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's retail sales fell 3.4 per cent year-on-year in February, ending a five-month growth streak. The decline is also a reversal from the adjusted increase of 12.0 per cent in January.

This is partly attributed to lower sales in February compared to the same period last year when sales were boosted by spending prior to Chinese New Year, according to data released by the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Tuesday (Apr 5).

Pre-Chinese New Year spending this year took place mainly in January, the agency said. “Comparing the performance for the two-month period (January to February) of festivities, retail sales increased 4.9 per cent in 2022 compared to 2021,” SingStat added.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales fell 1.8 per cent compared to the adjusted 16.1 per cent growth in January.

The estimated total retail sales value came in at S$3.2 billion, of which online retail sales made up an estimated 13.6 per cent. This was higher than the 12.4 per cent recorded in January.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, retail sales fell 1.2 per cent compared to a slightly bigger decline of 2.2 per cent in January. Sales also declined 1.0 per cent when motor vehicles were excluded.

DECLINE IN SALES FOR MOST RETAIL INDUSTRIES

Most industries within the retail trade sector saw year-on-year declines in sales in February.

The sales of food and alcohol, mini-marts and convenience stores and motor vehicles decreased between 14.1 per cent and 16.5 per cent.

Supermarkets and hypermarkets as well as optical goods and books industries saw sales fall 10.8 and 8.4 per cent respectively.  

In contrast, the sales of cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods increased 21.0 per cent during this period, mainly attributed to higher demand for pharmaceutical and medical products, said SingStat.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, most industries recorded decline in sales in February.

Industries such as department stores, optical goods and books, and computer and telecommunications equipment saw decline in sales between 7.2 per cent and 11.5 per cent.

The sales of cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods, on the other hand, increased 17.6 per cent during this period.

(Table: SingStat)

DROP IN SALES FOR FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICES

Sales of food and beverage (F&B) services also dropped 0.6 per cent year-on-year in February, a reversal from January’s 9.3 per cent growth. This is attributed partly to higher sales in February last year due to Chinese New Year celebrations, said SingStat.

“Comparing the performance for the two-month period (January to February) of festivities, food and beverage sales increased 4.4 per cent in 2022 compared to 2021,” added the agency.

The turnover of restaurants fell 5.7 per cent in February on a year-on-year basis.

Meanwhile, food caterers saw an increase in sales of 26.3 per cent due to the low base in the same period in 2021, when demand for catering was low.

Sales of cafes, food courts and other eating places as well as fast food outlets increased 1.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.

Weaker dine-in sales in February led to a decline of 13.4 per cent for restaurants on a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis.

Similarly, sales of food caterers and cafes, food courts and other eating places also declined.

In contrast, sales of fast food outlets increased 1.4 per cent compared to January.

The total sales value of F&B services in February this year was estimated at S$734 million, of which online sales made up an estimated 30.7 per cent, a slight increase from the adjusted 29.0 per cent the previous month.

(Table: SingStat)
Source: CNA/ng(ta)
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