SINGAPORE - Retail sales turned positive in September, rising 2 per cent from a year earlier, and registering a smaller 1.9 per cent decline when vehicles are excluded.
Takings at the till had shrunk 0.5 per cent in August, with a sharper 6 per cent drop without auto sales.
Auto sales by themselves have been losing steam, rising by 20.4 per cent in September, the figures released by the Department of Statistics on Tuesday (Nov 15) showed.
Unlike in August when all other retail categories were in the red, September saw year on year gains for recreational goods (+6.7 per cent), mini-marts & convenience stores (+2.9 per cent), medical goods & toiletries (+2.1 per cent), petrol service stations (+2 per cent) and furniture & household equipment (+0.1 per cent).
No category suffered double-digit percentage declines as seen this year, but the worst three performing were computer & telecommunications equipment (-9.6 per cent), food & beverages (-7.8 per cent) and watches & jewellery (-5.1 per cent).
Compared to the previous month, retail takings declined 0.7 per cent in total but rose 0.7 per cent without vehicle sales.
The total retail sales value in September 2016 was estimated at S$3.5 billion, higher than the S$3.4 billion in September 2015.