Retail sales slump 9.5% in February on Chinese New Year effect

SINGAPORE - Retailers in Singapore earned 9.5 per cent less in February than a year ago, mainly due to the Chinese New Year effect.

The festive period fell in January this year but in February last year, boosting sales then.

Only sellers of optical goods and books took in higher revenue in February over the year before, according to data from the Singapore Department of Statistics on Tuesday.

Retailers in all other categories suffered a drop in takings. The worst hit were food and beverage sellers with a 33.7 per cent decline in sales, and supermarkets, with a 29.1 per cent fall in revenue.

Compared with January, retail sales actually rose 3 per cent in February, the Statistics Department said. This was driven by higher sales of motor vehicles, which rose 14.3 per cent in the period, and clothes and footwear, which climbed 8.9 per cent.

Excluding motor vehicle sales, retail sales would have fallen a smaller 9.2 per cent in February over a year ago and risen by a smaller 1 per cent in February over January.