Singapore retail sales plunge due to CNY timing

Singapore retail sales plummeted 10 per cent year on year in February – but the sudden drop was largely due to the timing of Chinese New Year celebrations.

After excluding motor vehicles from the figures, sales dropped by a slightly higher 10.7 per cent.

Chinese New Year fell in the middle of the month last year, and early in the month this year, resulting in a shifting of some seasonal spending back into January this time around. Figures combining January and February sales in both comparable periods were not released.

According to Statistics Singapore, sectors such as food retailers, apparel & footwear, supermarkets & hypermarkets, department stores, furniture & household goods, and medical goods & toiletries registered declines in retail sales of between 10.4 per cent and 24.8 per cent this year.

Sales of watches & jewellery, optical goods, and books fell by between 7.2 per cent and 9.2 per cent.

Statistics Singapore estimated total retail sales in February this year at $3.3 billion, with online retail sales comprising about 5 per cent of those.

Sales of food & beverage services decreased 2.3 per cent year on year. The total sales value of food & beverage services in February was estimated at $855 million, compared to $875 million in February last year.

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