Retail sales rise 8.6% in February, boosted by Chinese New Year spending

Coinciding with this year's festive season, retail sales of food retailers, apparel and footwear, department stores, and supermarkets and hypermarkets saw significant growth of between 24.8 per cent and 61.2 per cent compared to February 2017.
Coinciding with this year's festive season, retail sales of food retailers, apparel and footwear, department stores, and supermarkets and hypermarkets saw significant growth of between 24.8 per cent and 61.2 per cent compared to February 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Retail sales rose in February, due in part to the Chinese New Year festive season, according to a Singapore Department of Statistics release on Thursday (April 12).

February's retail takings were up 8.6 per cent from the same month last year, with total retail sales value estimated at S$3.7 billion, up from S$3.4 billion in February 2017. Online retail sales formed an estimated 3.9 per cent of the total.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose even more, by 14 per cent from a year before.

Chinese New Year was celebrated in February this year but in January last year. Coinciding with this year's festive season, retail sales of food retailers, apparel and footwear, department stores, and supermarkets and hypermarkets saw significant growth of between 24.8 per cent and 61.2 per cent compared to February 2017.

In contrast, sales of motor vehicles fell 17.5 per cent year-on-year, while takings from computer and telecommunications equipment, optical goods and books, and recreational goods dropped by between 1.9 per cent and 17.5 per cent.

Lower auto sales also pulled down the month-on-month figures.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales fell 1.7 per cent in February compared to January 2018. Excluding motor vehicles, however, retail sales rose 1 per cent month-on-month.

Sales of food and beverage services rose on both a year-on-year and a seasonally-adjusted month-on-month basis: up 4.9 per cent compared to a year before, and up 8.2 per cent compared to the previous month.

The total sales value of food and beverage services was estimated at S$726 million, up from S$692 million in February 2017.