Slump in domestic wholesale trade continues

Domestic wholesale trade fell 26 per cent in the third quarter from the same period a year ago, weighed down by weaker prices of petroleum and chemical products.

Stripping out petroleum, domestic wholesale trade declined 12.1 per cent, according to data released by the Department of Statistics yesterday.

But after adjusting for price changes, overall domestic wholesale trade saw a year-on-year increase of 7.4 per cent.

Domestic wholesale trade is one of the largest sectors in Singapore's economy, providing a significant number of jobs. But it has been a dismal year for the sector, which year-on-year shrank 25.8 per cent in the first quarter and 18.3 per cent in the second quarter.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, domestic wholesale trade fell 9.6 per cent in the July-September period.

Excluding petroleum, domestic wholesale trade contracted by a smaller 4.2 per cent. After removing the price effect, overall domestic wholesale trade increased 1.3 per cent over the previous quarter.

Foreign wholesale trade also shrank, dropping 15.1 per cent year-on-year, also due to lower prices of petroleum and chemical products.

Ann Williams

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2015, with the headline 'Slump in domestic wholesale trade continues'. Subscribe