Real Singapore retail sales continue to decline

Real Singapore retail sales continue to decline according to the latest data from Statistics Singapore.

Total retail sales (seasonally adjusted) increased by 1.1 per cent in April 2016 over March. But with the exclusion of the figure-distorting motor vehicles from the data, sales increased by just 0.1 per cent.

However, compared year-on-year, the picture remains bleak.  

Compared to April 2015, retail sales increased 3.8% in April 2016, due mainly to higher sales of motor vehicles. Exclude motor vehicles and the real decline is 3 per cent.

April Singapore retail sales 2016

The government body said total retail sales in April 2016 were estimated at $3.5 billion, higher than the $3.3 billion in April 2015. But that is with motor vehicles included.

After seasonal adjustment, retail sales of optical goods & books, recreational goods, motor vehicles, mini-marts & convenience stores, telecommunications apparatus & computers, wearing apparel & footwear, furniture & household equipment, department stores and food & beverages increased between 0.4 per cent and 9.6 per cent month-on-month in April.

April Singapore retail sales 2016 F&B

In contrast, retail sales of watches & jewellery, petrol service stations and supermarkets declined between 1.8 per cent and 5.7 per cent in April 2016 over March 2016. Retail sales of medical goods & toiletries remained unchanged.

Year-on-year, retail sales by mini-marts and convenience stores, of medical goods and toiletries, supermarkets and department stores increased between 0.6 per cent and 3.9 per cent.


In contrast, sales of phones and computers fell 17.1 per cent and of watches and jewellery by 11.3 per cent year-on-year.

Retail sales by petrol service stations, of optical goods and books, food & beverages, recreational goods; and furniture & household equipment declined between 1.9 per cent and 9.9 per cent. Retail sales of clothing and footwear remained unchanged.

Sales of food & beverage services at cafes, restaurants and by fast food outlets (seasonally adjusted) decreased 0.2 per cent in April compared to March. But year-on-year, they rose 1.7 per cent.

The total sales value of food & beverage services in April 2016 was estimated at $658 million, higher than the $647 million in April 2015.

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