RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Retail sales slipped 3% YoY to $3.8b in November

Online retail sales made up an estimated 6.6% of the month's sales.

Retails sales bucked the upward trend from October after dipping 3% YoY to $3.8b in November, according to data from the Department of Statistics (SingStat). Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales declined at a smaller rate of 0.2%.

Online retail sales made up an estimated 6.6% of retail sales in November. On a MoM basis however, retail sales inched up 0.2%

The highest increase in sales was recorded by department stores which jumped 8.7% YoY, partially driven by higher sales during the Black Friday period. It was followed by sales of medical goods and toiletries with an increase of 4.8% YoY on the back of higher sales in cosmetics and toiletries and furniture and household equipment which climbed 3.3% YoY.

Petrol service stations sales rose 3.1% as a result of higher petrol prices. In volume terms however, sales of petrol service stations declined 0.7% after removing the price effect.

Wearing apparel and footwear (3%), watches & jewellery (1.4%) and recreational goods (0.3%) also reported an increase in sales in November.

On the other hand, sales of computer and telecommunications equipment crashed 22.1% YoY in November which SingStat attributed to higher sales in 2017 when there were major mobile phone launches. Similarly, sales of motor vehicles fell 15.1% YoY with a decrease in number of motor vehicles sold.

Optical goods and books (-4.6%), food retailers (-3.7%), supermarkets & hypermarkets (-1.4%) and mini-marts and convenience stores (-0.6%) reported declines in sales in November as well.

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 2.4% YoY with a total sales value at about $845m from $826m in 2017. The fast food industry recorded the highest increase in sales at 4.5%, followed by restaurants (2.9%) and other eating places such as cafes (2.5%).

Food caterers was the only industry which reported a -2% decline in sales in November 2018. 

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