Singapore retail sales up 4.6% in December, helped by sales of cars and mobile devices

Retail shops of the three main telecom players in Singapore, StarHub, M1 and Singtel, located at Basement 4 of ION Orchard.
Retail shops of the three main telecom players in Singapore, StarHub, M1 and Singtel, located at Basement 4 of ION Orchard. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Surging car sales, as well as a brisk trade in mobile devices, helped the retail sector end 2017 on a robust note.

Total retail takings grew 4.6 per cent in December from the same month a year earlier, according to latest data by the Singapore Department of Statistics.

This came as motor vehicle sales soared 26 per cent year on year, while sales of computer and telecommunications equipment went up 15.2 per cent.

Excluding motor vehicle sales, retail sales inched up just 0.6 per cent year on year.

Other segments fared less well. Sales of watches and jewellery declined 8.2 per cent in December over a year earlier, while takings at minimarts and convenience stores slid 2.7 per cent.

The data also showed that takings in food and beverage services rose 3.1 per cent year on year in December, with sales rising at restaurants, fast-food outlets and other eating places such as cafes.