Singapore retail sales dive in June, marking 5th straight month of decline

RETAIL takings plunged in June compared to a year ago on the back of poor motor vehicle sales, resulting in a fifth straight month of decline.

The latest release by the Department of Statistics found that Singapore’s retail sales fell by 8.9 per cent in June – steeper than the 3.7 per cent drop forecast by economists. It was also a sharper fall compared to the 2 per cent fall registered in May.

Even with motor vehicle sales stripped out, retail sales still declined with a 2.7 per cent dip.

Among the various industries, motor vehicles performed the worst with a dive of 32.4 per cent, mainly attributed to higher motor vehicle sales volume recorded in June 2018, as well as the lower certificate of entitlement (COE) quota for May to July 2019.

Furniture and household equipment sales fell 15.1 per cent, compared to the higher sales experienced by this industry during last year’s Hari Raya Puasa festive season. Similarly, computer and telecommunications equipment, and watches  and jewellery saw sales fall by 7.7 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively, as a result of lower demand for mobile phones and jewellery in particular.

The estimated total retail sales value in June was about S$3.5 billion. Online retail sales made up an estimated 5.5 per cent.

On the other hand, the food and beverage services index saw sales up by 5.3 per cent year on year in June, extending its 1.9 per cent growth in May.

Sales of fast food outlets grew by 10.6 per cent compared to a year ago, due partly to the opening of new outlets by some major fast food chains. Food caterers, restaurants and other eating places (such as cafes) also reported growth in turnover of between 3.2 and 5.7 per cent.

The total sales value of food and beverage services in June was estimated at S$864 million, compared to S$820 million previously.