Singapore retail sales rose by a modest 2.1 per cent in January (after excluding motor vehicles from the data), reversing a strong 9.8 per cent increase in December.
The percentage of all Singapore retail sales conducted online fell from 13 per cent in December to 11.5 per cent in January.
Most sectors recorded improvements in January, with food and liquor leading the way – up by a hefty 36.3 per cent – followed by apparel and footwear, up by 23.7 per cent.
Sales of recreational goods, computer and telecommunications equipment and cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods increased by between 5.4 per cent and 9.7 per cent.
The worst-performing category – apart from motor vehicles – was furniture and household equipment, where sales fell by 13.5 per cent, as demand for furniture and appliances softened.
Meanwhile, sales of food and beverage services grew by 21.8 per cent, which follows December’s 13.9 per cent increase.
Statistics Singapore said the improvement was due in part to the timing of the Chinese New Year celebrations in late January, instead of early February as it was last year.
Of the S$1 billion in food services sales in the month, online transactions accounted for 23.3 per cent, almost the same share as in December.