Singapore’s retail industries continue to record overall sluggish growth in April, mainly attributed to ‘mixed performance’: SingStat

Retail sales performance in April 2018 was largely held back by marked declines in sales in various industries such as computer & telecommunications equipment and department stores.

Mixed performance among Singapore’s retail industries in April 2018 have resulted in marginal growth compared to a year ago but a decline from the month before, according to data released by Singapore’s Department of Statistics (SingStat).

Statistics from the Retail Sales Index (RSI) showed a minor year-on-year increase of 0.4% for retail sales in April 2018. Excluding motor vehicle sales, retail sales increased slightly more at 0.7%.

Compared to the previous year, the petrol service stations industry recorded a significant sales growth of 8.5%, due partly to higher petrol prices. The medical goods & toiletries, furniture & household equipment and food retailers industries also reported hiked sales increases of 2.9% to 7.8%.

However, overall year-on-year growth was stifled by the large sales declines in several industries including computer & telecommunications equipment (-9.8%), wearing apparel & footwear (-3.4%), supermarkets & hypermarkets (-2.3%) and department stores (-1.7%).

Month-on-month growth was less optimistic as seasonally adjusted retail sales saw a 0.2% decrease in April. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales dropped more drastically by 1.7%.

Total retail sales value in April 2018 amounted to approximately S$3.6 billion ($2.69 billion), of which online sales contributed roughly 4.4% to the overall figure.

Food & beverage (F&B) services sales fared worse as the Food & Beverage Services Index (FSI) revealed a 1.2% year-on-year drop in April 2018. Seasonally adjusted sales saw a 3.4% decline compared to March 2018.

Similar to retail sales, F&B services industries recorded varied performances which led to the stark overall decline. Fast food outlets and food caterers registered higher turnover at 5.4% and 0.7% respectively, while restaurants and other eating places reported 4.3% and 0.5% decreases in revenue respectively.

The total sales value of F&B services in April 2018 was estimated at S$662 million, a slight drop from the S$670 million recorded in April 2017.