Retail sales fell 3% in November, with big dip in car sales

Shoppers at department store Metro’s Paragon outlet on Black Friday, on Nov 23, 2018.
Shoppers at department store Metro’s Paragon outlet on Black Friday, on Nov 23, 2018.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Retail sales fell in November, after two months of year-on-year growth, according to figures released by the Singapore Department of Statistics on Friday (Jan 11).

Takings at the till dipped by 3 per cent compared to November 2017, dropping further than Bloomberg's 2.4 per cent forecast.

Car sales registered a big drop, declining 15.1 per cent year-on-year. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales decreased at just 0.2 per cent.

Besides motor vehicles, the sales of computer and telecommunications equipment also registered disappointing figures, falling 22.1 per cent.

This fall is partly due to high sales in November 2017 when there were major mobile phone launches.

However, department stores registered an increase of 8.7 per cent in sales compared to the same period in 2017, arising partially from higher sales during the Black Friday period.

The medical goods and toiletries industry also saw a rise of 4.8 per cent, due mainly to higher sales of cosmetics and toiletries.

Sales at petrol service stations increased 3.1 per cent as a result of higher petrol prices, but recorded a small decline of 0.7 per cent in sales volume after removing the price effect.

The total retail sales value in November last year was about $3.8 billion. Of this number, online retail sales made up an estimated 6.6 per cent.

Compared to the same period in 2017, sales of food and beverage services increased 2.4 per cent in November last year.

The total sales value of food and beverage services in November was estimated at $845 million, compared to $826 million in the same month in 2017.