Cars again save the day for Singapore retail sector, driving sales up 4.6% in September

Potential customers at the Audi showroom at Alexandra Road.
Potential customers at the Audi showroom at Alexandra Road.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Car buying again drove up Singapore's retail sales which grew 4.6 per cent year-on-year in September, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics on Friday (Nov 13).

Without the 48.3 per cent jump in vehicle sales, takings actually fell 1.4 per cent in September compared to the same month a year ago.

Apart from car sales, department stores, supermarkets and medical goods & toiletries saw modest single-digit growth in sales of 3.4 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively. All other segments declined including sales of food & beverage services which slipped 2.7 per cent over last year.



The surge in car sales - from a bumper crop of Certificate of Entitlement (COEs) for the May to July period - offset declines in other areas, such as petrol service stations (-22.5 per cent), recreational goods (-8.3 per cent) and apparel and footwear (-7.5 per cent).

In month-on-month terms and seasonally adjusted, September retail sales were down 3.7 per cent over August. Excluding motor vehicles, they fell 4.5 per cent.

The total retail sales value in September was estimated at S$3.4 billion, higher than the S$3.2 billion in September 2014.