RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Chart of the Day: Retail sales down 1% in March

Sales of optical goods & books, food & beverages and telecommunications & computers declined.

This chart from UOB showed that Singapore’s retail sales narrowed their decline after falling by 1% in March compared to the 9.9% decrease in February.

The fall in retail sales growth has been observed across most industries with sales of optical goods & books (-6.4%) being the most pronounced, followed by food & beverages (-5.7%) and telecommunications & computers (-4.9%).

On the other hand, sales of medical goods & toiletries, supermarkets and motor vehicles rose by 2.8%, 0.9% and 0.9% respectively.

On a constant price basis, retail sales value hit $3.75b, of which 5.3% are online sales at domestic retailers, which UOB noted that is the highest in the year. Online sales growth clocked a strong 28% YoY in March 2019, up from 15.5% in February.

The retail sales industry is an integral part to Singapore’s growth, making up 10.3% of GDP in 2018. It also clocked $45.4b of receipts in 2018, and employs an estimated 170,000 employees or about 5.0% of total persons employed nationwide. 

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