The early CNY celebration weighed on sales.
Retail sales dropped 10% YoY in February 2019 compared to 2018, according to data from the Department of Statistics (SingStat). Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales fell 10.7%.
A key contributing factor to the lower retail sales in February 2019 compared to 2018 was the Chinese New Year festive season which was celebrated in mid-February in 2018, whilst it occurred in early February in 2019, SingStat explained.
On a MoM basis, retail sales dipped 1.5% in February 2019.
All the segments recorded a decline in sales, led by food retailers which declined 24.8% YoY. This was followed by wearing apparel and footwear (-14.9%), furniture and household equipment (-14.7%), and supermarkets and hypermarkets (-13.2%).
The estimated total retail sales value in February 2019 was about $3.3b, of which, online retail sales made up an estimated 5%.
Meanwhile, sales of food & beverage services slipped 2.3% YoY in February 2019. On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales of food & beverage services edged down 0.6% in February 2019 over the previous month.
The total sales value of food & beverage services in February 2019 was estimated at $855 million, compared to $875m in February 2018.
Fast food outlets and other eating places such as cafes witnessed an increase of 5.6% and 0.6% YoY in retail sales. On the other hand, retail sales for food caterers dropped 8%, followed by restaurants with a 4.7% decline.
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