Retail sales disappoint with 1.8 per cent slide in April

SINGAPORE – Retail sales slid for the third month in a row in April, according to figures released on Wednesday (June 12) by the Department of Statistics.

Takings at the till fell by 1.8 per cent compared with April last year, coming in below the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg who had expected a shallower 0.2 per cent dip.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales dropped 2 per cent year on year.

All retail segments apart from wearing apparel and footwear registered a decline in sales in April.

The biggest drops were led by the computer and telecommunications equipment industry, which saw a decline of 6.7 per cent, and the furniture and household equipment sector, which saw sales fall by 6.5 per cent.

Food retailers had takings decrease by 3.5 per cent, while retailers of optical goods and books also saw their sales fall by 3.2 per cent.

Department stores saw sales shrink by 3.1 per cent.

However, sellers of wearing apparel and footwear raked in takings that were 3.4 per cent higher compared with a similar period the year before.

Food and beverage services also saw their takings grow, by 3.1 per cent year on year. All segments registered an increase, with fast food outlets leading the way with a growth of 8.2 per cent.

Food caterers saw sales expand by 6.2 per cent.

The total sales value of food and beverage services in April this year was estimated at $826 million, compared with $801 million in April last year.

The estimated total retail sales value in April this year was about $3.5 billion, with online retail sales accounting for an estimated 5.4 per cent of the sum.

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