RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Retail sales shrink for fourth straight month in May

Sales fell 2.2% with motor vehicles leading the decline.

Retail sales continued on their downward trend after dropping 2.2% MoM in May and dropping 2.1% YoY , according to data from the Department of Statistics. The total retail sales value hit $3.7b of which online retail sales accounted for 5.3%.

Motor vehicles, and furniture and household equipment led the sales decline after declining 7.5% YoY. The motor vehicles industry netted the biggest loss monthly, dropping by 8.4% MoM.

If excluding motor vehicles’ sales data, retail sales fell 1% in MoM and YoY.

The sales of computer and telecommunications equipment, optical good and book industries, and department stores also registered declines, falling by 7.0%, 4.9% and 4.7% YoY respectively.

On the other hand, sales in the watches and jewellery industry grew 4.1% YoY, which the report attributed to the increase of demand due to the Akshaya Tritiya festival. Sales of petrol service stations also increased 1.4% YoY, but the sales volume recorded a 0.6% decline after exclusion of the price effect.

Food and Beverage Services rose 2% YoY although May sales declined by 1% compared to April sales. The total value of food and beverage services went up to $849m in May 2019 from $833m in May 2018.

Turnover of restaurants, other eating places, and fast food outlets increased by 2.7%, 2.2%, and 1.8% YoY respectively, while sales of food caterers decreased 1.2% during the same period.

In contrast, seasonally adjusted data showed that the sales of fast food outlets, other eating places and food caterers declined 2.3%, 2.5%, 2.1% over the past month, while restaurant turnover went up by 1%.

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