Singapore retail sales fall for 7th straight month in August

SINGAPORE'S retail sales have fallen for the seventh consecutive month in August, compared to a year ago, on the back of poor motor vehicle sales.

Retailers took in S$3.6 billion, of which 5.5 per cent came from online sales. This is a 4.1 per cent fall compared with August 2018, and a 1.3 per cent month-on-month drop from July 2019.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales still registered a 1 per cent year-on-year drop, but saw a 2.2 per cent month-on-month improvement from July.

Motor vehicles was the worst performer with a 20.3 per cent year-on-year plunge, followed by furniture and household equipment that saw a 9.8 per cent fall. The best performing categories were clothing and footwear at 4.9 per cent, department stores (excluding supermarkets) at 4.7 per cent and medical goods and toiletries at 4.0 per cent.

Food and beverage services however saw a year-on-year increase of 3.6 per cent to hit S$916 million in total sales value. This compares with S$884 million in August 2018.

Fast food outlets saw the best sales, with a 10 per cent jump, followed by restaurants which went up by 4.9 per cent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis however, the sales of food and beverage services went up by 1.4 per cent in August, compared with July 2019.