RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Chinese New Year effect boosts retail sales by 8.6% in February

The total retail sales value hit $3.7b.

Retail sales increased 8.6% YoY in February 2018 compared to February 2017, which was due partially to the Chinese New Year festive season, the Department of Statistics (SingStat) revealed. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 14%. The total retail sales value in February 2018 hit $3.7b, higher than the $3.4b last year. The estimated proportion of online retail sales to total retail sales was around 3.9%

Meanwhile, retail sales fell 1.7% MoM over the previous month, no thanks to lower vehicle sales. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales increased 1%.

As a result of higher demand in February 2018 which coincided with the Chinese New Year festive season, retail sales of food retailers, wearing apparel & footwear, department stores and
supermarkets & hypermarkets registered significant growths between 24.8% and 61.2% YoY. In addition, retail sales of medical goods & toiletries, petrol service stations, watches & jewellery, furniture & household equipment, and mini-marts & convenience stores rose between 6.4% and 15.0% during this period.

On the other hand, retail sales of motor vehicles, computer & telecommunications equipment, optical goods & books and recreational goods dropped between 1.9% and 17.5%.

Sales of food & beverage services rose 4.9% YoY and 8.2% MoM. Total sales value of food & beverage services hit $726m, higher than the $692m last year. The sales of fast food outlets, food caterers, and restaurants rose between 7.7% and 19.7% YoY, whilst the turnover of other eating places slid down by 5.2% during this period.

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