Singapore’s retail sales up 7.4% in December, extending November’s growth

SINGAPORE’S retail sales rose 7.4 per cent year on year in December, extending the previous month’s 6.5 per cent growth, the latest data from the Department of Statistics (SingStat) showed on Friday (Feb 3).

On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales were up 1.3 per cent, reversing from the 3.6 per cent decline recorded in November.

December’s estimated total retail sales value was S$4.7 billion, with online sales accounting for 12.9 per cent. This was lower than the 15 per cent recorded in the previous month, where there were major online shopping events, said SingStat.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales expanded by 9.5 per cent from the year-ago period, and rose 1 per cent from the previous month, on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

Almost all retail sales categories saw growth in December:

  • Department stores (11 per cent)
  • Mini-marts and convenience stores (1.9 per cent)
  • Food and alcohol (37.4 per cent)
  • Cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods (16 per cent)
  • Wearing apparel and footwear (23 per cent)
  • Furniture and household equipment (11 per cent)
  • Recreational goods (7.8 per cent)
  • Watches and jewellery (19.9 per cent)
  • Computer and telecommunications equipment (0.3 per cent)
  • Optical goods and books (2.7 per cent)
  • Others (13.1 per cent)

The exceptions were:

  • Supermarkets and hypermarkets (-2.2 per cent)
  • Motor vehicles (-10.3 per cent)
  • Petrol services stations (-6.8 per cent)

On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, half of the retail categories recorded sales declines, while the other half saw gains.

The biggest declines were seen in the petrol service stations; department stores; and wearing apparel and footwear industries. Meanwhile, watches and jewellery; mini-marts and convenience stores; and computer and telecommunications equipment recorded the biggest gains.

Sales of food and beverage services rose by 13.9 per cent year on year and 0.1 per cent on a monthly seasonally-adjusted basis, with growth across all segments:

  • Restaurants (5.5 per cent)
  • Fast food outlets (14.6 per cent)
  • Food caterers (115.8 per cent)
  • Cafes, food courts and other eating places (10.5 per cent)

SingStat attributed the gains in the food caterers industry to higher demand for both event and in-flight catering with the easing of restrictions on large-scale events and international travel.