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Big leap in Singapore retail sales not quite what it seems

Singapore city

Singapore retail sales surged by 54 per cent in April, reflecting the low base of April last year when most of the city state’s retailers were closed due to Covid-19 movement restrictions. 

But despite the high-percentage increase, retail trading continued at levels below pre-Covid times reflecting a lack of inbound visitors and conservative local buyers avoiding crowded shopping centres.  

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales increased by 39.2 per cent in April. 

Of Singapore’s estimated $3.3 billion (US$2.5 billion) of sales in April, an estimated 11.2 per cent was spent online, slightly down on the 11.8 per cent recorded in March. Excluding motor vehicles, the total retail sales value was about $2.8 billion (US$2.1 billion), where online retail sales made up 13.3 per cent. Computer & telecommunications equipment, furniture & household equipment and supermarkets & hypermarkets sectors were the most actively shopped online, respectively accounting for 47.5 per cent, 24.4 per cent and 12.5 per cent of the total sales of their category.

Sales of food & beverage services increased 73.4 per cent in April, following March’s 8.4 per cent increase, again reflecting the low base of April last year. 

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