SINGAPORE: Singapore's retail sales rose 25.8 per cent in June on a year-on-year basis, with growth attributed to a low base in the same period last year when stricter COVID-19 measures were in place for most of the month.
Physical stores remained closed and dining-in at food and beverage outlets was suspended during Phase 1 of Singapore's reopening from a "circuit breaker" period between Jun 1 and Jun 18 last year.
June's retail sales growth was slower than the previous month's pace of 79.7 per cent, which was also recorded against a low base due to the circuit breaker measures in place for the whole of May 2020.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 19 per cent in June, lower than the 61.7 per cent increase in May, said the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Thursday (Aug 5).
On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales rose 1.8 per cent in June compared to May, with the difference falling to 0.4 per cent when motor vehicles were excluded.
SALES ROSE IN MOST INDUSTRIES
Most retail industries recorded large year-on-year growth in sales due to last year's low base, according to SingStat.
The exceptions were supermarkets and hypermarkets, and minimarts and convenience stores, which fell 4.5 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively. This was due to higher demand for groceries last year, said SingStat.
Sales of motor vehicles expanded the most, at 80.6 per cent, followed by watches and jewellery with 78.4 per cent growth.
Department stores saw sales increase 61.8 per cent, while wearing apparel and footwear took in 60 per cent more and recreational goods jumped by 53.9 per cent.
The total retail sales value in June was estimated at S$3.3 billion, with online retail sales making up about 15.4 per cent, compared with 13.8 per cent in May.
Retail sales value, however, continued to be below pre-pandemic levels, said SingStat.
The higher online sales proportion was due mainly to online promotional events such as the Great Singapore Sale, said SingStat.
Without motor vehicles, total retail sales value was about S$2.7 billion, with online retail sales accounting for 18.4 per cent.
MORE DEMAND FOR FOOD DELIVERY
F&B sales grew 7.3 per cent year-on-year in June, lower than the 46.4 per cent expansion in May.
Singapore had gradually eased restrictions after the circuit breaker period last year, but entered a Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) phase from May 16 through Jun 13 this year following a spike in COVID-19 community cases.
Cafes, food courts and other eating places saw sales increase by 23.1 per cent and fast food outlets by 23 per cent, due to the higher demand for food delivery.
In contrast, turnover of food caterers plunged 44.5 per cent compared to June 2020, when there was higher demand for catered meals from migrant worker dormitories, said SingStat. Restaurant sales also dropped 7.3 per cent.
On a month-on-month basis, F&B sales declined 11.3 per cent from May due to the reduction in group sizes allowed for dining-in in June.
The total F&B sales in June was estimated at S$529 million, with 47.7 per cent coming from online sales, said SingStat.