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Car sales prop up June retail sales index, which posts 0.9% y-o-y increase

SINGAPORE'S retail sales were once again lifted by car sales in June - albeit to a more modest degree - with the overall index up 0.9 per cent year-on-year.

Excluding motor vehicle sales, however, retail sales would have fallen 3 per cent in June compared to a year ago.

Data released by the Department of Statistics on Monday showed that retail sales were mostly down across the board in year-on-year terms, with only three categories posting improved sales. These were motor vehicles (up 17.1 per cent), furniture & household equipment (up 5.8 per cent), and medical goods & toiletries (up 3 per cent).

Telecommunications apparatus & computers suffered the biggest year-on-year drop of 25.1 per cent. The other two categories to experience double-digit declines in sales were petrol service stations (down 14.1 per cent) and recreational goods (down 11.8 per cent).

On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales fell 1.5 per cent in June over the previous month.

Excluding motor vehicles - sales of these rose 7.8 per cent month on month - retail sales would have dropped a larger 3.7 per cent from May 2016.

The total retail sales value in June 2016 was estimated at S$3.6 billion, similar to that in June 2015.