Takings at the till plunged for the fifth consecutive month in June, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics yesterday.
Retail sales fell 8.9 per cent compared with the same period last year. The figure disappointed analysts polled by Bloomberg, who had predicted a drop of 3.7 per cent.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales dropped 2.7 per cent year on year. The sale of motor vehicles recorded the largest decline out of all the categories of goods, falling 32.4 per cent in June.
Analysts said the slowing domestic economy and macro headwinds such as the re-escalation of China-US trade tensions have caused consumer sentiments to weaken, as people tightened their purse strings for both big ticket items and discretionary consumer goods.
They said that the retail sales outlook for the year remains soft and might stay in the negative territory.