Singapore retail sales quicken in August with better-than-expected 3.5% growth

Retail sales turned positive this year but growth was slow and modest, coming in at 1.7 per cent in July and 2 per cent in June.
Retail sales turned positive this year but growth was slow and modest, coming in at 1.7 per cent in July and 2 per cent in June. ST PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY

SINGAPORE - Retail sales accelerated in August, growing by a stronger-than-expected 3.5 per cent from a year ago, with takings up for most categories.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had tipped sales to rise by 2.4 per cent.

August's performance is the best this year and makes it the sixth straight month that retail sales growth has been positive. Most recently, takings were up a more modest 1.7 per cent in July and 2 per cent in June.

In August, sales of cars and other vehicles rose 2.8 per cent year on year, better than the 0.3 per cent increase in July, according to the Department of Statistics data released on Thursday (Oct 12).

Excluding auto sales, August takings grew 3.7 per cent year-on-year, compared to the 2 per cent improvement in July.

The total retail sales value in August was estimated at S$3.7 billion, higher than the S$3.5 billion in the same month last year.

Compared to July, retail sales in August dipped 0.3 per cent, better than the 1.4 per cent drop expected by analysts. Excluding motor vehicles, sales declined 1.2 per cent month on month.