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Lunar New Year timing impacts Singapore retail sales in January

Singapore retail sales in January fell by 8.4 per cent (excluding vehicles), however the timing of Lunar New Year likely accounted for much of the year-on-year decline. 

According to Statistics Singapore, sales were higher than usual in January last year due to the annual festival moving forward on the calendar. 

Singapore retail sales in January including motor vehicles fell by 6.1 per cent. 

Online retailing within Singapore accounted for 12.1 per cent of overall retail sales, excluding motor vehicles, with e-commerce accounting for 40.8 per cent of overall computer and electronics sales and 23.2 per cent of supermarket sales. 

Overall, sales by department stores and of cosmetics, apparel and footwear fell by between 28.5 per cent and 36.1 per cent in January, impacted by low numbers of inbound visitors. 

However, sales of furniture and homewares surged 25.9 per cent, while sales of computers and electronics rose 24.8 per cent, the latter aided by new model launches. 

Turnover by food and beverage services slumped 24.7 per cent year on year, compared with a 16.3-per-cent decline in December. Statistics Singapore said January’s larger contraction was due in part to higher sales in January 2020 when Lunar New Year was celebrated. 

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