Retail sales in Singapore rise for fourth straight month

International Business News  –  According to new media reports: Singapore’s retail sales grew for the fourth consecutive month, up 14.8 percent in June. Economists are bullish on this year’s retail sales, raising the full-year growth forecast.

The latest retail sales index released by the Singapore Department of Statistics on August 5 shows that June’s growth was mainly due to a lower comparative base at the same time last year, when measures such as international travel restrictions were still in place.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales rose 19.8 percent in June. On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales fell 1.4 percent from a year earlier, or 1.9 percent excluding auto sales.

OCBC Bank has raised its full-year retail sales forecast for this year from 7 to 8 percent to 9 to 10 percent, close to the 11.1 percent for 2021, the bank’s chief economist said in an interview.

“The retail data rose for the fourth consecutive month and by double digits, reflecting improved consumer sentiment following the reopening of the border and the easing of epidemic restrictions …… The retail outlook remains positive if visitor numbers continue to grow at a healthy pace and more international activity follows. ”

UOB senior economists likewise raised their retail sales forecast for the year to 9 percent. The economist gave a different view on the reason for the seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent drop in year-over-year figures. Lin Xiuxin believes “this may reflect market caution over geopolitical tensions and the global recession.” Liou Tien-Sheng, on the other hand, believes that more families went abroad on vacation during the school holidays, leading to a decrease in domestic spending in June.

Total retail sales in June were about $3.8 billion, with e-tailing accounting for about 12.7 percent, up from 11.7 percent in May.

Most retail sales recorded year-over-year growth in June this year. Sales of non-essential consumer goods segments, such as shoes and clothes, department stores and watches and jewelry, continued the significant growth of 92.4 percent, 57.8 percent and 53.6 percent, respectively, in the previous month, due to lower tourist spending during the same period last year due to international travel restrictions.

In contrast, June auto sales were down 11.4 percent year-over-year, and sales at supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as smaller supermarkets and convenience stores, were down 11.3 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. The statistics office noted that this was due to higher demand for groceries as more people stayed home during last June’s high-alert unsealing.

Food service sales were affected by the high alert lifting phase last June, when dine-in dining was banned for more than half the month. This year, food service sales in June continued the 40.1 percent increase seen in May, reaching 59.1 percent year-over-year growth. On a seasonally adjusted basis, food service sales declined 0.5% in June.

Total foodservice sales in June were S$885 million, with online foodservice sales accounting for approximately 25.7 percent of the total, up from 24.4 percent in May.

With the relaxation of restrictions on large events and international travel, demand for events and in-flight catering increased, with meal service sales increasing by 109.7 percent in June, with restaurants registering the largest increase of 143.7 percent.