SINGAPORE: Retail sales rose for the second consecutive month in March, up 6.2 percent year-over-year from the revised 5.3 percent in February.
Excluding motor vehicles, sales increased 4.4% in March compared to 7.8% in February.
On an annual basis, sales in many industries have improved due to the weaker base a year ago when COVID-19 measures and border restrictions were introduced, the Statistics Department said Wednesday (May 5). of Singapore (SingStat).
However, several industries saw their revenues decline compared to the previous year, notably supermarkets and hypermarkets.
DISCRETIONARY INDUSTRIES ON THE RISE, SUPERMARKETS DOWN
Sales in discretionary industries such as watches and jewelry, as well as clothing and footwear, were able to register larger year-over-year increases of 60.2% and 35.6% respectively.
This was due to low tourism revenue in March 2020 resulting from tighter border restrictions, SingStat said.
Sales of leisure products and computer and telecommunications equipment also increased by 28.3% and 19.9% respectively. Sales at gasoline stations rose 18.6% and sales of motor vehicles by 15.6%.
Household furniture and equipment as well as optical goods and books also saw increases.
In contrast, supermarkets and hypermarkets were down 14% from higher sales a year ago, when more people stayed at home after the introduction of secure distancing measures, SingStat said. .
Department stores, mini markets and convenience stores, food and alcohol products, cosmetics, toiletries and medical products also recorded declines.
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MOST INDUSTRIES ARE GROWING MONTH ON MONTH
On a monthly basis, almost all industries recorded sales growth.
Discretionary industries such as motor vehicles, watches and jewelry, clothing and footwear, and department stores posted increases of between 5.2% and 7.8%.
This was attributed to higher domestic spending given travel restrictions linked to COVID-19, SingStat said.
Conversely, sales of furniture and household equipment contracted 6.2 percent. Demand has slowed with more people returning to the workplace, SingStat said.
Supermarkets and hypermarkets saw no change in their sales compared to the previous month.
The estimated total value of retail sales in March was around S $ 3.5 billion, of which 11.8 percent was made up of online retail sales.
Excluding motor vehicles, the total value of retail sales was around S $ 2.9 billion, of which 14.4% came from online retail sales.
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GROWTH IN FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICES
In food and beverage services, sales rose 8%, reversing a 3.4% decline in February. This was mainly attributed to the drop in sales in March 2020 when safe distancing measures were put in place, SingStat said.
Sales in the food service industry increased by 17.9%, while fast food establishments and cafes, food courts and other food places increased by 5.5% and 5.6% respectively .
However, caterers continued to experience a 25 percent year-over-year decline.
Overall food and beverage service sales were also up 4% from the previous month, with all industries registering growth.
Total sales value was estimated at S $ 730 million in March, with online sales accounting for around 23.5%.