Retail sales dip 0.5% in April over a year ago

SHOPS in Singapore rang up fewer sales in April compared to a year ago, as consumers spent less on cars, petrol and communications gadgets.

Retail sales slipped 0.5 per cent in the period, but would have risen 0.2 per cent if motor vehicles were excluded from the figures, said the Department of Statistics on Friday.

Still, the overall dip was less than in March, when retail sales tumbled 7.4 per cent from a year earlier, due to a sharp drop in car sales after the authorities curbed car loans in February.

In April, the loan restrictions were temporarily lifted for 60 days for consumers buying used cars.

As a result, sales of motor vehicles jumped 36.1 per cent in April over March.

On the back of this, retail sales rose 5.3 per cent in April compared with March, reversing March's 5.5 per cent drop over February, the Statistics Department said.