Singapore January retail sales up 7.5%, better than expected

Retail sales excluding motor vehicles rose 1.4 per cent in January from a year ago.
Retail sales excluding motor vehicles rose 1.4 per cent in January from a year ago. PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The retail gloom here lifted a little in January.

Retail sales excluding motor vehicles rose 1.4 per cent in January from a year ago, confounding analysts polled by Bloomberg who had expected a 3.8 per cent decline.

Total retail sales increased 7.5 per cent year-on-year, mainly because of a 50.9 per cent jump in vehicle sales, according to figures from the Department of Statistics on Tuesday (March 15). Still, this was more than twice the 3.1 per cent rise expected in the Bloomebrg poll.

January retail takings were also much improved from December's which saw total sales up 2.8 per cent year-on-year, and down 3.7 per cent without vehicle sales.

The total retail sales value in January was estimated at S$4.1 billion, higher than the S$3.8 billion in January 2015.