SINGAPORE - Takings at the till plunged for the fifth consecutive month in June, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics on Thursday (Aug 8).
Retail sales fell 8.9 per cent compared with the same period last year. The figure disappointed analysts polled by Bloomberg, who had predicted a drop of 3.7 per cent.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales dropped 2.7 per cent year on year.
The sale of motor vehicles recorded the largest decline out of all the categories of goods, falling 32.4 per cent in June.
The Department of Statistics attributed this to the higher motor vehicle sales volume recorded in June last year as well as the lower Certificate of Entitlement (COE) quota for the period from May to July 2019.
Sales of furniture and household equipment also recorded a double-digit decline, with a fall of 15.1 per cent.
The industry had experienced higher sales during last year's Hari Raya festive season, the department noted.
The computer and telecommunications equipment industry also reported lower sales of 7.7 per cent, while the watches and jewellery industry saw takings fall by 4.8 per cent.
However, there were bright spots.
Sales of medical goods and toiletries, and wearing apparel and footwear grew by 1.4 per cent.
The sale of food and beverage services also increased by 5.3 per cent.
Fast-food outlets reported the biggest growth, with sales growing by 10.6 per cent. Food caterers saw takings go up by 5.7 per cent while restaurants also raked in higher sales of 5.1 per cent.
The total sales value of food and beverage services in June this year was estimated at $864 million, compared with $820 million in June last year.
The estimated total retail sales value in June this year was about $3.5 billion, with online retail sales accounting for an estimated 5.5 per cent.