SINGAPORE: Retail sales grew by 5.2 per cent year-on-year in February, a reversal from the 6.1 per cent decline recorded in January.
This improvement was mainly associated with Chinese New Year celebrations in February, said the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Monday (Apr 5). Chinese New Year was in January last year.
Comparing the performance for the January to February two-month period of the festivities, retail sales fell 1.2 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales increased 7.7 per cent in February, compared to the 8.4 per cent decline in January.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales decreased 1.6 per cent in February compared to the previous month. Excluding motor vehicles, seasonally adjusted sales fell 1.2 per cent.
The estimated total retail sales value for February was about S$3.3 billion. Online retail sales made up about 10.1 per cent of this, similar to the 10.2 per cent recorded in January, said SingStat.
The retail sales value excluding motor vehicles was S$2.8 billion, with online sales making up 11.7 per cent.
Online retail sales made up 44.3 per cent of total receipts in the computer and telecommunications equipment industry, 26 per cent of sales in furniture and household equipment and 10.7 per cent of sales in supermarkets and hypermarkets.
RETAIL SALES BOOSTED BY CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS
While most retail industries recorded improved year-on-year sales in February due to the Chinese New Year boost, on a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, the watches and jewellery, petrol service stations, and computer and telecommunications equipment increased between 2.8 per cent and 5.6 per cent during this period.
SALES OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICES REMAIN WEAK
Sales of food and beverage services fell 3.5 per cent in February on a year-on-year basis, a smaller contraction compared to the 24.6 per cent decline in January 2021. This was again mainly attributed to Chinese New Year celebrations, SingStat said.
Food and beverage sales remained weak due to capacity constraints arising from safe distancing measures, SingStat added.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales of food and beverage services declined 1.1 per cent in February over the previous month.
The total sales value of food and beverage services in February was estimated at S$699 million.
Of this, online sales made up about 22.2 per cent, slightly higher than 22.1 per cent in January.