Singapore retail sales disappoint with 3.2% drop in February

Shoppers at the traffic light crossing between Ngee Ann City and Paragon in Orchard Road.
Shoppers at the traffic light crossing between Ngee Ann City and Paragon in Orchard Road. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Chinese New Year did not boost retailers' takings in February this year, with sales falling 3.2 per cent compared to the same month a year ago, according to data released on Friday (April 15) by Singapore Department of Statistics.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales dropped by a heftier 9.6 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted, turnover rose just 1.7 per cent in February over the previous month. But excluding auto sales, they dipped 1.1 per cent.

The total retail sales value in February 2016 was estimated at $3.4 billion, lower than the $3.5 billion in February 2015.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected retail sales to rise 3.4 per cent year-on-year and dip 1.5 per cent without auto sales.

Auto sales shot up 51.3 per cent year-on-year in February as buyers flocked to car showrooms with their year-end bonuses. But only two other segments saw turnover increase - mini-marts & convenience stores (+ 0.8 per cent) and medical goods & toiletries (+ 4.1 per cent).

Sales of food & beverages saw the biggest fall of 34.7 per cent compared to a year ago. But double-digit declines were also suffered by apparel & footwear (-12.7 per cent), furniture & household equipment (-13.5 per cent), telecommunications apparatus & computers (-16.6 per cent), watches & jewellery (-12.4 per cent) and department stores (-10.5 per cent).