Singapore retail sales flat in December

Singapore retail sales were flat in December, after motor vehicles were removed from the data, rising by a mere 0.1 per cent. 

Including motor vehicles, a decrease of 3.4 per cent was recorded, but this relates more to the scarcity of Certificates of Entitlement by which Singapore’s government restricts the number of vehicles on the roads. New vehicle sales were down by 24 per cent year on year.

Compared with November, and again excluding vehicles, retail sales slipped by 1.4 per cent. 

Singapore retail sales totalled SG$4.2 billion (US$3.2 billion) for the month. Significantly, online shopping accounted for 6.8 per cent of that figure, one of the highest rates yet.

Aside from cars, the worst-performing retail categories were furniture & household equipment down 8.2 per cent, and computer & telecommunications equipment, down 6.3 per cent. Sales at department stores fell 5.6 per cent, and optical goods & books recorded a 1.2 per cent decline. 

Categories to post growth included watches & jewellery (up 8.9 per cent). Retailers of petrol service stations, medical goods & toiletries, and mini-marts & convenience stores achieved growth rates between 3.1 per cent and 5.4 per cent. 


Compared to the same period last year, Sales of food & beverage services in December increased by 2.7 per cent to an estimated SG$964 million, compared to $938 million in December 2018.

Turnover of fast-food outlets, cafes, food courts & other eating places, and restaurants

Increased by between 2 per cent and 7.7 per cent year on year. 

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