Singapore retail sales swings back to growth in March

The Department of Statistics says the strong retail turnover was due to the growth in the sales of petrol service stations

Black Friday offers in Singapore: Where to shop for best deals?
Representational image Reuters

Singapore retail sales index has reflected a 2.1 per cent year-on-year growth in March from a year earlier, recovering from the 2.6 per cent fall from the previous month. The total retail sales value in March was estimated to be around S$3.7b, compared to S$3.6b last year.

According to the latest data from the Department of Statistics, the strong retail turnover was due to the growth in the sales of petrol service stations, which saw an 11.3% uptrend. Excluding motor vehicles sales, retail sales index would have increased only by a measly 0.7 per cent.

Seven other segments posted growth in retail turnovers. Motor vehicles segment realised a 6.9 per cent sales gain whilst sales of watches & jewellery ended the month with 7.8 per cent gain.

Meanwhile, medical goods & toiletries, optical goods & books, and recreational goods registered growths of 4.9 per cent, 4.2 per cent, and 3.2 per cent, respectively.

Furniture & household equipment and wearing apparel & footwear also registered sales turnover expansions of 2.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent.

On the other hand, sales dropped at food and beverage outlets, department stores, supermarkets, mini-marts & convenience stores, and for computer & telecommunications equipment. These segments have turnover declines from 2.1 per cent to 7.9 per cent.

Sales of food and beverage services dropped 4.8 per cent in the said month compared to last year, with total sales value dropping to S$665m from S$698m.

F&B services sales were dragged by the restaurant segment, which posted a 12.8per cent slump in turnover. Food caterers and other eating places also registered declines of 1.5 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

Only fast food outlets reported turnover gains for the month, up 4 per cent, reversing its 5.9 per cent decline last year.