Singapore's retail takings up in June, buoyed by motor vehicle sales

RETAIL sales in Singapore grew at a faster clip in June, thanks to a lift from motor vehicle sales, according to the latest release by the Department of Statistics.

Retail takings went up 2 per cent in June compared to the same period a year ago, up from a revised 0.2 per cent growth registered in May. Excluding motor vehicles, retails sales in June would have ticked up a marginal 0.2 per cent.

In June, the motor vehicle segment grew the most, with a 9.7 per cent increase in sales. This was followed by petrol service station sales at 9.3 per cent, largely due to a rise in higher petrol prices.

Sales of medical goods & toiletries increased 5.8 per cent, due to higher sales of cosmetics & toiletries, while sales of recreational goods expanded by 5.7 per cent, mainly from sporting equipment during the World Cup period.

In contrast, industries which registered declines in sales over this period included computer & telecommunications equipment which fell 8.5 per cent, watches & jewellery which fell 6.3 per cent, and optical goods & books which dipped 2.6 per cent.

On a month-on-month basis, seasonally adjusted retail sales went up by 1.2 per cent in June. With motor vehicles stripped out, retail sales actually decreased 1.8 per cent.

The total retail sales value in June was estimated at S$3.9 billion. Online retail sales contributed to about 4.1 per cent of the total.

In an indication of consumer sentiment picking up, the food and beverage services index saw improvements in June, going up 2.9 per cent year-on-year. Compared to the previous month, it still went up 0.9 per cent.

Restaurant spending was up 4.8 per cent compared to a year ago, while fast food spending jumped 8.4 per cent.

The total sales value of food & beverage services in June was estimated at S$677 million, higher than the $658 million last year.