Lull's over: Retail sales show first positive growth in over two years

Sales data for February 2021 showed a growth of 3.5% YoY.

Retail sales showed their first sign of recovery after an uptick of 3.5% YoY was recorded for February 2021, the first positive YoY growth since October 2018 according to a report by Fitch Solutions.

Fitch said that the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions resulted in an increase foot traffic in malls, encouraging the patronage of related service sectors such as food and beverage and entertainment.

“The impact of the relaxed restrictions has resulted in a positive y-o-y growth of retail sales in February 2021, and will further bolster the recovery trajectory from Q3 2021 onwards,” Fitch said.

Fitch forecasted that the economy will grow by a real rate of 5.8% YoY over 2021, up from a previous estimate of a drop by 4.8% YoY.

“Government stimulus measures enabled some protection to consumers, as well as the nation’s economy, as although the unemployment average did tick up to an estimated 2.5% in 2020 from an estimated 2.3% in 2019, this figure would have been considerably higher if the government had not intervened to offer financial support to businesses and households in 2020,” Fitch said.

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