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Singapore’s retail sales to rebound on year-end festivities, concerts: expert

Retailers can look forward to more spending this holiday season.

Retail sales in Singapore are expected to recover and receive a much needed boost from year-end festivities, government cash disbursements and holiday spending, according to UOB. 

“We continue to expect retailers to enjoy some level of domestic and external support, complemented by major events such as various sports, popular concerts, business travel, conventions and exhibitions,” it said in a note on Tuesday. “Year-end festive demand and holiday travellers will add further upside to retail sales.”

The government’s relief to lower- to middle-income families in the form of support measures, payouts, vouchers and the enhanced Assurance Package could also provide additional support for retailers.

UOB sees domestic consumers to front load their spending in November and December, particularly on big-ticket items like furniture, household equipment and jewellery. 

The rebound is projected after latest data showed Singapore retail sales dropped by 0.1% in October to $4b.

READ MORE: Retail sales drop 0.1% YoY in October

Following the 2.6% increase in retail sales from January to October, UOD maintains its forecast for full-year 2023 at 3% “on the assumption of a reasonably strong rebound in November and December.”

UOB noted external risks to retail sales remain, including a weakening external environment, the unexpectedly substantial easing in regional labor market conditions and the slow recovery of inbound Chinese tourists.

“The labour market in Singapore remains tight although there are signs of rising jobless rate among the domestic population. Moderating wage growth alongside incremental uncertainty in the job market may exert some downward pressure on retail sales going forward,” it said.

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