Singapore retail sales (excluding vehicles) fell by 1.8 per cent in February, a significant reversal from the 16.1 per cent growth rate in January.
Statistics Singapore said the decline was due partly to lower sales in February compared with the same month in 2021 when sales were boosted by pre-Chinese New Year spending which, this year, mainly occurred in January.
Comparing the performance for the two-month period of festivities, retail sales excluding motor vehicles, grew by 7.7 per cent. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales fell 1 per cent compared to January.
Online sales accounted for 15.5 per cent of the city state’s total retail sales of S$2.8 billion in February. The e-commerce sector was boosted by computers and telecom sales, of which 53.2 per cent were online, with 31.9 per cent of furniture and household equipment online, and 15.1 per cent of supermarket and hypermarket turnover.
By category, retail sales of food and alcohol fell by 14.1 per cent and through minimarts and convenience stores at a similar rate.
The best performing category was cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods, which rose by 21 per cent, mainly attributed to higher demand for pharmaceutical and medical products.