SINGAPORE - Retail sales increased 2.1 per cent in March over the same month a year ago, as car sales gave overall takings a boost.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales would have fallen 3.2 per cent.
Compared with last year, retailers of motor vehicles recorded a surge in sales of 40 per cent in March.
Sellers of watches and jewellery also saw higher takings of 2.4 per cent, while department store sales rose 0.3 per cent.
In contrast, sales at petrol service stations plummeted 21.4 per cent over last year, partly due to lower petrol prices.
Similarly, retail sales of wearing apparel and footwear, recreational goods, furniture and household equipment, medical goods and toiletries, mini-marts and convenience stores, supermarkets, telecommunications apparatus and computers and optical goods and books also declined.