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Singapore retail sales up 7.5% in October on mobile phone sales

Singapore retail sales up 7.5% in October on mobile phone sales

File photo of a woman using her mobile phone. (Photo: CNA/Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's October retail sales rose 7.5 per cent year-on-year as consumers snapped up more mobile phones following new product launches.

October's expansion was higher than the 6.8 per cent recorded in September, according to data released by the Department of Statistics Singapore (SingStat) on Friday (Dec 3).

It is the second consecutive month of retail sales growth. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales were also up 11.4 per cent.

Total retail sales value came in at S$3.6 billion but this remained below pre-pandemic levels, said SingStat. Online sales made up 15.2 per cent of the total.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, retail sales grew 0.7 per cent in October compared to September. Growth rose to 2.3 per cent when motor vehicles were excluded.


Most industries in the retail sector saw sales increase year-on-year, with purchases of computer and telecommunications equipment surging 72.9 per cent due to the new product launches.

Watches and jewellery, petrol service stations, and supermarkets and hypermarkets also recorded double-digit increases of 26.9 per cent, 16.3 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively.

Sales also grew in the food and alcohol, cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods, wearing apparel and footwear, and furniture and household equipment industries.

In contrast, sales fell for department stores, recreational goods, optical goods and books, motor vehicles, and minimarts and convenience stores.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, sales in most industries grew, with computer and telecommunications equipment topping the list at 4.1 per cent.

(Table: SingStat)


Sales of food and beverage services dropped 4.5 per cent year-on-year in October due to the reduction of dining-in group sizes to two vaccinated people. This reversed the sector's 4.5 per cent gain in September.

The dining-in rule affected restaurant sales, which shrank by almost a quarter compared to October 2020, when bigger groups of five diners were allowed.

Conversely, sales of food caterers jumped 39 per cent over the low base one year ago. Fast food outlets and cafes, food courts and other eating places also saw sales increase. 

F&B sales fell 5 per cent on a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis. Restaurants lost 18.1 per cent in sales compared to September, when groups of five vaccinated diners were allowed for most of the month. Sales increased in the other industries.

The total value of F&B sales was estimated at S$659 million and remained below pre-pandemic levels, said SingStat. Online sales comprised 38.4 per cent of the total.

(Table: SingStat)
Source: CNA/dv(ac)


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