Cars drive Singapore retail sales up 6.1 % year-on-year in May

People looking at used cars at Turf City. Retail sales in Singapore rose 6.1 per cent in May compared to the previous year, mainly due to a big jump in the sales of motor vehicles, figures from the Singapore Department of Statistics showed on Wednesd
People looking at used cars at Turf City. Retail sales in Singapore rose 6.1 per cent in May compared to the previous year, mainly due to a big jump in the sales of motor vehicles, figures from the Singapore Department of Statistics showed on Wednesday. PHOTO: MIKE LEE FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Retail sales in Singapore rose 6.1 per cent in May compared to the previous year, mainly due to a big jump in the sales of motor vehicles, figures from the Singapore Department of Statistics showed on Wednesday.

However, excluding motor vehicles, retail sales grew just 0.9 per cent year-on-year.

When compared with April, retail sales increased by 2.4 per cent in May. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales grew 1.8 per cent.

The total retail sales value in May was estimated at $3.5 billion, higher than the $3.3 billion in May 2014.

Sales of motor vehicles jumped 46.6 per cent year-on-year in May. The Land Transport Authority released a bumper crop of Certificate of Entitlement (COEs) for the May to July period.

Another strong performing segment, medical goods & toiletries, saw sales go up by 10.3 per cent.

Retail sales of department stores, supermarkets, mini-marts & convenience stores and watches & jewellery also increases of between 1.3 per cent and 4.9 per cent.

In contrast, retail sales of petrol service stations and recreational goods decreased 16.2 per cent and 11.9 per cent respectively in May 2015 over May 2014.

Similarly, retail sales of optical goods & books, telecommunications apparatus & computers, food & beverages, furniture & household equipment and wearing apparel & footwear declined between 1.1 per cent and 8.3 per cent.