Sep 13, 2019
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Singapore saw retail sales fall 1.8 percent year-on-year to $3.6 billion in July, less severe than the 8.9 percent drop registered in June.

Online sales accounted for 5.6 percent of the transactions, reported The Business Times.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales dipped 2.4 percent year-on-year, showed data from the Department of Statistics.

This comes as sales of furniture and household goods fell 8.3 percent, computer and telecom equipment by 7.7 percent, while sales of watches and jewellery declined by 6.2 percent.

OCBC Bank head of treasury research and strategy Selena Ling noted that the sharp declines were mainly within the discretionary items.

Nonetheless, the drop in takings was still felt across the board with motor vehicles, medical goods and toiletries as well as supermarkets and hypermarkets being the only categories to witness sales growth.

And while retail sales increased 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, it slid 0.7 percent once the impact of auto sales is excluded.

Food and beverage service receipts climbed 3.2 percent year-on-year in July to $877 million, but fell 1.5 percent from the previous month.

In an August report, real estate consultancy Savills stated that new eateries at the Jewel Changi Airport, which opened in April, may have pushed fast food outlet earnings in Q2 2019.

CIMB economist Song Seng Wun, however, compared the opening of new malls to “cutting your leg off and sticking it somewhere else”, since trendy shopping centres like the redeveloped Funan may cannibalise traffic on the other parts of the island.

Looking ahead, Song expects retail sales to remain within the negative territory for another two months, with any increase likely coming on a low base.


Tynn Tan edited this story on behalf of Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru. To contact him about this or other stories, email

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