Singapore consumer spending in January slide

CONSUMERS in Singapore continued to cut back on spending in January, with retail sales slipping 1.4 per cent from December, and declining 2 per cent from a year earlier.

Figures from the Singapore Department of Statistics on Friday showed that January sales of telecommunications apparatus and computers saw the sharpest fall - declining 9.2 per cent compared to December.

Motor vehicle sales also remained a drag on the back of high car prices, falling 2.3 per cent on the previous month, and 0.6 per cent year-on-year.

Retail sales of food and beverages decreased 24.3 per cent in January compared to the same month last year, partly due to the higher base in January 2012 as a result of the Chinese New Year holiday falling on that month.

Receipts in the food and beverage sector rose 1.1 per cent from the previous month, but fell 4.9 per cent compared to January last year.

Fast food outlets and food caterers recorded increases of 11.7 per cent and 2 per cent respectively over December, while restaurants posted a 1.3 per cent decline in receipts.

Compared to January last year, restaurants recorded an 11.1 per cent decline in receipts, with food caterers and fast food outlets also seeing lower turnovers this year.