SINGAPORE: Retail sales in Singapore fell at a slower pace of 27.8 per cent year-on-year in June as the country exited its COVID-19 "circuit breaker" period and retail outlets resumed operations under Phase 2 of the city's reopening.
This is an improvement from the record 52 per cent plunge in May, when physical stores were closed for the entire month, said the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Wednesday (Aug 5).
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales fell 24.2 per cent year-on-year, figures released by SingStat showed.
Singapore imposed a circuit breaker period from Apr 7 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, shutting non-essential workplaces and implementing home-based learning for students.
The circuit breaker ended on Jun 1, with the Government planning to reopen the economy in three phases.
Singapore is currently under Phase 2 which started on Jun 19, with retail outlets allowed to reopen and dining-in at food and beverage (F&B) outlets allowed to resume.
However in comparison to May, seasonally adjusted retail sales saw a large improvement, increasing 51.1 per cent month-on-month.
Excluding motor vehicles, seasonally adjusted retail sales increased 43.1 per cent.
"The month-on-month growths were mainly attributed to the low base in May 2020 when physical stores were closed for the entire month during the circuit breaker period," said SingStat in its release.
The estimated total retail sales value in June was about S$2.6 billion, with online retail sales making up an estimated 18.1 per cent.
Online retail sales of computer and telecommunications equipment, furniture and household equipment, as well as supermarkets and hypermarkets industries made up 69.9 per cent, 45.6 per cent and 10.7 per cent of the total sales of their respective industries.
F&B SECTOR FELL 43.5%
Sales of F&B services fell 43.5 per cent year-on-year, compared to the 50.1 per cent decline in the previous month, said SingStat.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales of F&B services increased 18.9 per cent in June over the previous month.
This comes amid the resumption of dine-in services in Phase Two of the post-circuit breaker reopening.
The total sales value of F&B services in June was estimated at S$496 million, with online F&B sales making up an estimated 32.7 per cent, added SingStat.
The turnover of restaurants and food caterers declined 59 per cent and 48.1 per cent respectively in June this year compared to June 2019.
"Similarly, cafes, food courts and other eating places and fast food outlets recorded lower sales of 32.7 per cent and 20.5 per cent respectively during this period," the SingStat added.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, turnover of restaurants, cafes, food courts and other eating places as well as fast food outlets grew by between 11 per cent and 43.4 per cent compared to the previous month.