Singapore’s retail sales slump 6.0% in December

All segments in the index including motor vehicle sales and computer and telecommunications equipment fell except for medical goods and toiletries and other retail items.

A mall in Singapore Source: Bloomberg

Retail sales in Singapore fell by 6.0% on a year-on-year basis in December, worsening from the 2.4% decline in the previous month as sales from all segments in the index including motor vehicle sales and computer and telecommunications equipment fell except for medical goods and toiletries and other retail items.

Total receipts reached around S$4.3 billion in December, with online retail sales contributing about 5.5%. Excluding motor sales, retail sales fell by 4.1%, the Department of Statistics Singapore said on Tuesday.

The biggest drag came from motor vehicle sales which plunged by 20.7%, following the 15.1% decline in the previous month.

Petrol service stations saw sales fall by 0.4%, reversing from the 3.1% gain in November. Sales of computer and telecommunications equipment declined 16.8% due to a high base effect from a year ago which had registered higher sales arising from major phone launches around the same period.

Sales of recreational goods, watches and jewellery, and furniture and household equipment industries decreased between 3.9% and 5.8%, attributed to lower demand for sporting goods, jewellery and furniture.

The medical goods and toiletries segment saw sales increase by 1.8% while other retail items rose in sales by 0.5% for last month.

Food and beverage services' receipts up 4.5%

Receipts of food and beverage services increased by 4.5% in December from a year ago, with total receipts at around S$925 million, higher than S$886 million in December 2017.

For that month, all segments in the index rose. Restaurants, food caterers, fast food outlets, and other eateries (for example, cafes) saw increased sales compared to a year ago, up by 5.0%, 6.6%, 5.9%, and 2.5%, respectively.

Compared to the previous month, seasonally-adjusted retail sales fell by 3.4%, while food and beverage services rose by 0.6%.

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