SINGAPORE - Retail sales staged a comeback in January after two straight months of year-on-year declines, according to the Department of Statistics on Tuesday (March 12).
Takings at the till were 7.6 per cent higher than the same period last year, surpassing the expectations of Bloomberg analysts who predicted a 2.6 per cent rise and reversing a 5.8 per cent drop in December.
The rise in sales came on the back of higher car sales, which rose 20 per cent compared with last year. This was partly due to the Singapore Motor Show event, the Department of Statistics (Singstat) noted.
But excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 5.3 per cent, a "result of higher demand during the pre-Chinese New Year festive season," Singstat said.
Retailers of wearing apparel and footwear saw a big increase in brevenue of 10.5 per cent compared with last year.
Sellers of medical goods and toiletries registered a rise of 9.3 per cent.
Department stores recorded an increase at the till of 8.9 per cent, while supermarkets and hypermarkets saw takings up by 8.8 per cent.
Food retailers also raked in higher sales of 8 per cent.
Food and beverage services saw an increase of 5.9 per cent year-on-year, with fast food outlets and caterers seeing the biggest jump in sales.
The total sales value of food and beverage services in January this year was estimated at $862 million, compared with $814 million in January last year.
However sales of the computer and telecommunications equipment slid by 11.5 per cent, due partly to lower demand for mobile phones during this period.
The total retail sales value in January this year was about $4.2 billion. Online retail sales made up an estimated 4.8 per cent of this number.