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Singapore Retail Sales Slow to 2.2 Per cent in April


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by Donavan Lim

Singapore’s retail sales growth slowed in April, mainly due to a drop in vehicle sales and a slower growth across almost all retail sectors.

Latest data from the Department of Statistics showed that retail increased 2.2 per cent in April from a year ago. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 2.9 per cent.

Nonetheless, despite the increase, retail sales growth was lacklustre in April, compared to a revised 8.9 per cent surge in March.

Further, on a month-to-month comparison, retail sales decreased 0.9 per cent in April 2012 compared to March 2012.

Sales of food and beverage services went up 5.5 per cent in April 2012 as compared year-on-year but declined 1.9 per cent in April on a monthly basis.

Retailers of motor vehicles and furniture and household equipment booked declines in sales of 6.3 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively in April over the previous month.

Likewise retail sales of provision and sundry shops, department stores, optical goods and books and petrol service stations also decreased between 0.8 per cent and 1.5 per cent compared to the previous month.

In contrast, retailers of recreational goods, telecommunications apparatus and computers, medical goods and toiletries, food and beverages, watches and jewellery, supermarkets and wearing apparel and footwear fared better, recording gains of between 1.1 per cent and 4.6 per cent month-on-month.

Most retail segments recorded growth on a yearly basis. Retailers of medical goods and toiletries, telecommunications apparatus and computers, supermarkets and petrol service stations recorded increases in sales of between 5.2 per cent and 9.8 per cent. Similarly, retail sales of food and beverages, watches and jewellery, provision and sundry shops, furniture and household equipment and wearing apparel and footwear increased between 1.6 per cent and 4.2 per cent.

Nonetheless, other retailers booked decline. Retailers of optical goods and books reported a 6.2 per cent decline in sales while retail sales of motor vehicles decreased 0.2 per cent in April 2012 over April 2011.

Sales of restaurants and other eating places (such as cafes and canteens) declined 3.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively month-on-month while turnover of food caterers and fast food outlets increased 1.6 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.

The Retail Sales Index (RSI) and Food & Beverage Services Index (FSI) were released by the Department of Statistics Singapore on Friday.