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Singapore retail sales rise at slower pace of 0.2% in July

Singapore retail sales rise at slower pace of 0.2% in July

People wearing protective face masks in Bugis on Jul 22, 2021 on the first day of the return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's retail sales rose at 0.2 per cent in July on a year-on-year basis, as a result of the Phase 1 measures in place in June last year.

Physical stores were closed until Jun 18, 2020. They were open in July this year and last year. 

July's retail sales growth was much slower than the previous month's revised figure of 26.0 per cent, which had been recorded against a low base due to stricter COVID-19 measures in place for most of the month.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 2.0 per cent in July, lower than the 19.2 per cent increase in June, said the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Friday (Sep 3).

On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in July compared to June, with the difference rising to 2.9 per cent when motor vehicles were excluded.

HIGHER SALES FOR PETROL, WATCHES

Petrol service stations and watches and jewellery recorded large year-on-year growth in sales, due to higher petrol prices and higher demand for watches, according to SingStat.

Petrol service station sales expanded the most at 33.5 per cent, followed by watches and jewellery with 10.4 per cent growth.

Food and alcohol sales rose 8.1 per cent, while supermarkets and hypermarkets took in 4.4 per cent more year-on-year. 

The computer and telecommunications equipment industries also recorded growths in sales of 4.2 per cent. 

On the other hand, sales of motor vehicles saw a drop of 9.8 per cent compared to the previous year. Department store sales fell 9.2 per cent, and the sale of optical goods and books' sales slumped 7.7 per cent. 

(Table: SingStat)

The total retail sales value in July was estimated at S$3.4 billion, with online retail sales making up about 13.9 per cent, compared to 15.4 per cent in June.

Retail sales value, however, continued to be below pre-pandemic levels, said SingStat.

Without motor vehicles, total retail sales value was about S$2.9 billion, with online retail sales accounting for 16.2 per cent. 

STRICTER DINE-IN RESTRICTIONS

F&B sales fell 5.9 per cent year-on-year in July, a reversal from the 7.6 per cent increase in June.

Food caterers saw sales fall 45.8 per cent in July 2021, compared to July 2020 when there was higher demand for catered meals from foreign worker dormitories.

Sales of restaurants also declined to 21.6 per cent, due to stricter dine-in restrictions. 

Groups of two or five people were allowed to dine-in from Jul 1 to Jul 21, but was suspended from Jul 22.

(Table: SingStat)

Conversely, sales of fast food outlets rose by 18.7 per cent and cafes, food courts and other eating places saw sales increase by 6.6 per cent.

On a month-on-month basis, F&B sales jumped 12.9 per cent, due to the lower base in June when dining-in was only allowed for groups of two for 10 days.

The total F&B sales in July was estimated at S$630 million, with 41.5 per cent coming from online sales, said SingStat.

Source: CNA/ng(ac)

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