Real Singapore retail sales took a tumble in May, with motor vehicles rescuing the headline figure.
While the official figure was a 0.9 per cent year-on-year increase, that was heavily distorted by an 8 per cent increase in the value of motor vehicles.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales declined 3 per cent.
Compared to May this year, total sales increased by 0.9 per cent, but sales excluding motor vehicles rose by 0.6 per cent.
Compared to May 2016, retail sales of medical goods & toiletries, department stores, optical goods & books, computer & telecommunications equipment and watches & jewellery increased between 0.3 per cent and 4.5 per cent over the same period last year. In contrast, retail sales of food retailers, wearing apparel & footwear, recreational goods, minimarts & convenience stores, furniture & household equipment and supermarkets decreased between 0.4 per cent and 5.2 per cent year-on-year.
The hospitality sector was hit even harder than mainstream retail.
Sales by restaurants decreased 9.5 per cent year-on-year and sales by other eating places by 1.1 per cent. .
On the contrary, turnover of food caterers and fast food outlets rose 3.1 per cent and 1.2 per cent.