Singapore retail sales up 8.7% in March, reversing February’s decline

SINGAPORE’S retail sales rose 8.7 per cent year on year in March, reversing the previous month’s decrease of 3.5 per cent.

The increase in March was attributed partly to larger growth in industries such as computer and telecommunications equipment, wearing apparel and footwear, as well as cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods, said the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Thursday (May 5).

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, total retail sales were up 7.5 per cent. The total retail sales value was S$3.9 billion, with online sales accounting for 14.9 per cent.

Most retail segments saw year-on-year growth in March, except for motor vehicles, recreational goods, optical goods and books, as well as mini-marts and convenience stores. Motor vehicles saw the biggest fall of 14.1 per cent year on year.

The top 5 segments that saw the highest year-on-year growth are:

1. Computer and telecommunications equipment (27.3 per cent)
2. Wearing apparel and footwear (25.8 per cent)
3. Cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods (25.2 per cent)
4. Petrol service stations (23.9 per cent)
5. Food and alcohol (19.6 per cent)

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales were up 13.4 per cent year on year, and up 8.3 per cent on a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis.

Food and beverage services (F&B) rose 4.7 per cent year on year, with the total sales value at $806 million. Sales for food caterers saw the highest increase of 50.3 per cent.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, all categories recorded growth, except cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods, which remained unchanged.