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Singapore retail sales surge in May against last year’s low base

(Source: Bigstock.)

Singapore retail sales – sans vehicles – increased by 22.6 per cent in May, five points faster than April’s growth. 

Statistics Singapore attributed the high growth rate to a low base in May last year when international travel restrictions and other Covid-fighting measures were in place. 

Of the estimated US$2.49 billion in Singapore retail sales in May, online sales comprised about 13.6 per cent. Online turnover was especially high as a percentage of sales in the computer & telecommunications sector, up by 47.5 per cent, and from supermarkets & hypermarkets, up by 28.2 per cent. 

Most retail categories recorded growth overall, with apparel and footwear sales up by 98.2 per cent. Sales by department stores rose by 73.1 per cent and of watches & jewellery by 60.7 per cent. All discretionary sales were heavily impacted by Covid restrictions in May last year. 

With consumers allowed to eat out again, sales of food & beverage services rose by 40.1 per cent during the month, with a consequential fall in sales by supermarkets & hypermarkets of 10.3 per cent, and by mini-marts & convenience stores, of 4.8 per cent. 

Turnover of restaurants soared 66 per cent, while sales at cafes, foodcourts & other eating places rose by 25 per cent, and through fast-food outlets by 13.8 per cent. 

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