Singapore retail sales decline 3 pct in November 2018

Cornelia Mascio
Gennaio 13, 2019

Overall sales fell by 3 per cent on the previous year - more sharply than economists polled by Bloomberg had foreseen - after clocking two months of growth, including a modest 0.1 per cent rise in October.

Non-food sales increased by 0.6%.

Australian retail sales jumped to the highest in five months in November boosted by pre-Christmas shopping, an indication private consumption bounced in the final quarter of 2018.

Auto sales registered a big drop, declining 15.1 per cent year-on-year. A similar scenario could occur again on this occasion.

Meanwhile, the optical goods and books segment posted a sales decline of 4.6 per cent, while food retailers' takings fell by 3.7 per cent and supermarkets and hypermarkets were down by 1.4 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted retail spending was $27.12 billion for the month, up from $26.99 billion in October, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Friday.

October sales were unrevised to show a 0.3 percent gain.

Ben Faulkner, Acting Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys at the ABS, said the result was boosted by Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales held in late November.

Excluding food retailing, retail turnover climbed 1.9% YoY - also the smallest gain since May.

"Both of these industries were impacted by strong promotional activity in the November month, including Black Friday sales", the ABS said. Many regard this as being a better guide on discretionary spending patterns across the country.

Singapore's total retail sales value in November 2018 was estimated at 3.8 billion Singapore dollars (about 2.81 billion USA dollars). One year ago, online sales accounted for just 5.5% of total sales.

This fall is partly due to high sales in November 2017 when there were major mobile phone launches.

The following industries rose in trend terms in November 2018: Food retailing (0.2%), Household goods retailing (0.4%), Other retailing (0.4%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessories retailing (0.5%), and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway services retailing (0.1%).

In seasonally adjusted terms there were rises in New South Wales (0.8 per cent), Queensland (0.4 per cent), Western Australia (0.6 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (1.6 per cent), and Victoria (0.1 per cent).

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