Singapore retail sales fall 1% in August, down sharper 6.5% without autos

Shoppers walking past baby specialty store Mothercare's storefront at Marina Square. Retail sales reversed course in August, dipping 1 per cent from 2015.
Shoppers walking past baby specialty store Mothercare's storefront at Marina Square. Retail sales reversed course in August, dipping 1 per cent from 2015. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Retail sales reversed course in August, dipping 1 per cent from a year earlier - and registering a sharper 6.5 per cent with vehicles excluded. Sales had risen 2.7 per cent in July.

Auto sales were still going strong in August, rising by 30.4 per cent from a year ago, the figures released by the Department of Statistics on Friday (Oct 14) showed.

But all other retail categories were in the red with computer & telecommunications equipment worst hit with sales faing 19.6 per cent year on year.

Compared to the previous month, retail takings declined 1.1 per cent in total and 2.1 per cent without vehicle sales.

The August data also showed that consumers were cutting down on the little luxuries. For example, spending on restaurants fell 8.8 per cent year on year, while sales of watches & jewellery and recreational goods dropped 15 per cent and 11.1 per cent.