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RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Retail sales up 0.1% to $3.7b in October

Petrol service stations sales grew the largest at 11.4%.

Retail sales continued their upward trend albeit at a slower pace after inching up 0.1% YoY to $3.7b in October, according to data from the Department of Statistics (SingStat). Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales grew 0.5%.

Online retail sales made up an estimated 5.3% of retail sales in October. On a MoM basis however, retail sales slipped 0.4%, similar to September.

The highest increase in sales was recorded by petrol service stations which jumped 11.4% on the back of continued high petrol prices. In volume terms, the increase recorded by the industry was 1.5%.

Medical goods & toiletries registered an increase of 3.4% due to higher sales of cosmetics and toiletries, whilst the furniture & household equipment industry also recorded sales increase of 1.5% with higher demand for household equipment. Food retailers and watches & jewellery industry also recorded increases at 2% and 0.8%, respectively.

On the other hand, sales of department stores and supermarkets & hypermarkets decreased 3.6% and 2.9% YoY, respectively. They were followed by motor vehicles (-2%), optical goods and books (-1.9%), recreational goods (-1.8%), wearing apparel and footwear (-1.7%), computer and telecommunications equipment (-1%) and mini-marts and convenience stores (-0.2%).

The retail sales index (RSI) measures the short-term performance of the retail trade based on sales records.

Meanwhile, the food and beverage (F&B) services index climbed 1.1% with a total sales value at about $710m from $703m in October 2017. The restaurants industry was the only segment to report a drop in sales at -3% YoY.

All other F&B service segments recorded an increase in sales including food caterers (5.6%), fast food outlets (3.2%) and other eating places such as cafes (3.8%). 

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