Singapore retail sales rise at faster pace of 17.8% in May

SINGAPORE – Takings at the till in Singapore grew at a faster pace in May, helped by a low year-ago base and the continued boost from tourist spending after travel restrictions were eased.

Retail sales surged 17.8 per cent year on year, extending the 12.1 per cent growth in April, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Tuesday (July 5).

This exceeded the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg, who projected sales to grow by 13.4 per cent.

Excluding motor vehicles, growth was even stronger in May, coming in at 22.6 per cent.

“The year-on-year increase in retail sales in May 2022 was mainly attributed to the low base in May 2021 when measures such as international travel restrictions were in place,” SingStat said in a press release.

Within the retail trade sector, most industries recorded year-on-year growth in sales last month.

Discretionary industries such as wearing apparel and footwear saw sales balloon by 98.2 per cent year on year, due to the low base in May 2021 when there was lower tourist spending due to travel curbs.

Department stores, which were hard hit by Covid-19 restrictions, also saw sales jump, by 73.1 per cent.

This was followed by retailers of watches and jewellery, which recorded higher sales of 60.7 per cent.

Retailers of food and alcohol saw sales rise by 47.3 per cent, while petrol service stations recorded sales increases of 45.8 per cent.

On the other hand, sales of motor vehicles fell 10.2 per cent.

Supermarkets and hypermarkets recorded declines in sales of 10.3 per cent, while minimarts and convenience stores saw sales fall by 4.8 per cent.