Singapore retail sales up by 1.8% in July
SINGAPORE — Retail sales were up by 1.8 per cent in July, at S$3.7 billion, higher than the S$3.6 billion from the same period a year ago, according to the latest data from the Singapore Department of Statistics.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 2.2 per cent from a year ago.
On a month-on-month basis, seasonally adjusted retail sales increased by 3.0 per cent. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 2.6 per cent.
Receipts from petrol service stations led the increase, with an 8.1 per cent jump from the previous year. Sales of medical goods and toiletries were up by 7.3 per cent from the same time last year, while takings from department stores increased by 5.3 per cent over the same period last year.
In contrast, sales of furniture and household equipment were down by 6.3 per cent from a year ago. Food retailers also saw their takings in July fall by 3.4 per cent compared with the same time last year.
Ms Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy, OCBC Bank, said that while the Great Singapore Sale benefited sales of wearing apparel and footwear, and computer and telecommunication equipment, the effect was not felt across other segments like furniture and household equipment and food retailers.
“For the first seven months of this year, retail sales remained lacklustre at 1.2 per cent year-on-year, even though visitor arrival number and headline gross domestic product growth has been relatively encouraging.
This compares poorly with the 2.2 per cent retail sales growth clocked in the whole of 2016, and suggests that structural challenges remain at play, including high costs, tight manpower and e-commerce competition,” she added.
Sales of food and beverage services overall contracted by 0.5 per cent in July, compared with the same period last year. The total sales value of food and beverage services last month was estimated at S$723 million, lower than the S$727 million a year ago.
Compared with the previous month, seasonally adjusted sales of food and beverage services increased by 1.6 per cent in July.
The Retail Sales Index and Food and Beverage Services Index measure the short-term performance of retail and food and beverage services industries based on their sales receipts.
The sales figures exclude taxes such as goods and services tax and certificates of entitlement.