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Singapore retail sales in June decline 28 per cent, slower than in May

Singapore retail sales in June declined 27.8 per cent, year on year, although the figure was better than May’s record fall of 52 per cent. 

After excluding sales of new motor vehicles, real Singapore retail sales in June were down by a slightly more modest 24.2 per cent.

Retail sales in the city state were impacted in May by the government’s Circuit Breaker initiative, an attempt to slow the transmission rate of the Covid-19 virus. In June, stores gradually began to reopen, but while local consumers returned to stores and malls, there were no tourists in town.

Online retail continued to account for a large share of the city’s total retail trade – 18.1 per cent of an estimated US$1.898 billion in June compared with 24.5 per cent of $1.29 billion in May. 

According to Statistics Singapore, 69.9 per cent of retail sales of computers and telecommunications equipment were conducted online in June, 45.6 per cent of furniture and homewares, and 10.7 per cent of sales by supermarkets and hypermarkets. 

The supermarkets, convenience stores and computer and telecommunications equipment categories were the only ones to record year-on-year sales growth in June, up by a rate ranging between 8.7 per cent and 43.4 per cent.  

As the chart below shows, sales by department stores, of apparel and footwear, and watches and jewellery fell by between 53.5 per cent and 69.5 per cent. 

Singapore retail sales by category in June 2020 (Courtesy Statistics Singapore).

Meanwhile, Sales of food & beverage services fell 43.5 per cent in June, not a lot less than the 50.1-per-cent decline of May. 

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