Singapore retail sales improve in first full month after circuit breaker

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– The sector in Singapore continued its recovery from the Covid-19 crunch, with the sales drop in July easing on an annual basis – reflecting the relaxation of the circuit measures in late June.

Retail sales fell 8.5 per cent in July after a revised 27.7 per cent decline in June, figures released on Friday (Sept 4) by the Department of Statistics showed. Excluding motor vehicles, sales fell 7.7 per cent.

On a on month seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales rose 27.4 per cent in July because of a lower base in June. Most physical stores were closed until June 18.

Excluding motor vehicles, seasonally adjusted retail sales increased 19.5 per cent.

Statistics Singapore estimated total retail sales value at $3.3 billion in July, of which online retail sales made up 11 per cent.

Sales at supermarkets and hypermarkets surged by 28.6 per cent year on year, while computer and telecoms equipment sales grew by 27.4 per cent.

However, department stores, as well as apparel, footwear, watches and jewellery saw declines in sales of between 21 per cent and 32.1 per cent as they continued to be affected by low tourist arrivals.

Sales of food and beverage services fell 25.4 per cent year on year – an improvement from the 43.6 per cent decline recorded in June. On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales of F&B services increased 29.2 per cent from June.

The month-on-month growth was mainly attributed to the lower base in June when F&B establishments operated on a takeaway or delivery basis until June 18.

The total sales value of F&B services in July was estimated at $665 million. Of these, online F&B sales made up an estimated 21.1 per cent.

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