SINGAPORE: Retail sales fell 8.4 per cent in January from a year earlier, due in part to a drop in motor vehicle sales, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics (Singstat) on Monday (Mar 12).
This after retail sales rose a revised 6.3 per cent in the previous month, Singstat said.
Sales of motor vehicles fell 9.8 per cent from the year before and fell 20.9 per cent from December.
The year-on-year fall was also attributed to the Chinese New Year holidays, which fell in January last year but was celebrated in February this year, Singstat said.
The Government announced in October last year that it would not allow any growth in its car population from February, citing land scarcity and billions of dollars in planned public transport investments.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales declined 8.1 per cent.
Sales of food & beverage services declined 13.2 per cent in January 2018.
Due to higher sales recorded a year ago when Chinese New Year fell in January 2017, retail sales of wearing apparel and footwear, food retailers, supermarkets &
hypermarkets, department stores and watches and jewellery decreased between 10.5 per cent and 17.7 per cent in January 2018.
Singstat said the total retail sales value in January was estimated at S$3.9 billion, lower than the S$4.3 billion in January last year.
The estimated proportion of online retail sales is around 4.1 per cent of total retail sales, it added.