Singapore retail sales rose by 5.3 per cent in January, underpinned by consumers stocking up ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
When motor vehicles are included in the data, the official topline figure was a 7.6 per cent increase.
Lunar New Year fell two weeks earlier this year compared with last year, which means some volume of pre-holiday stocking up was completed in January rather than the first half of February.
According to Statistics Singapore, the total retail sales value in January was about S$4.2 billion. Online retail sales accounted for a solid 4.8 per cent of sales.
Most retail industries recorded higher sales in January this year compared to last. Sales of apparel & footwear, medical goods & toiletries and by department stores, supermarkets & hypermarkets and food retailers registered growth rates of between 8 per cent and 10.5 per cent, as a result of higher demand during the Lunar New Year lead up.
In contrast, sales of computer & telecommunications equipment declined 11.5 per cent, due in part to lower demand for mobile phones during this period.
Sales of food & beverage services increased 5.9 per cent in January, reaching $862 million, compared to $814 million in January last year.