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SINGAPORE'S retail sales rose 3 per cent to S$3.7 billion in May, compared to S$3.6 billion a year ago due mainly to higher sales of motor vehicles.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales decreased 3.3 per cent, the Department of Statistics said on Friday.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales increased 1.4 per cent in May compared to the previous month. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales increased 2.3 per cent.
Compared to a year ago, retail sales of motor vehicles in May rose 35.9 per cent. Retail sales of furniture and household equipment as well as medical goods and toiletries grew by 3.1 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively over the same period.
In contrast, retail sales of telecommunications apparatus and computers as well as petrol service stations fell 17.3 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively in May 2016 over May 2015. Retail sales of recreational goods, optical goods, books, watches, jewellery, food and beverages, supermarkets, mini-marts, convenience stores, apparel, footwear and department stores also fell between 1.9 per cent and 8.7 per cent in May.
Meanwhile, the food and beverage services index rose 0.7 per cent in May, generating total sales estimated at S$690 million, higher than the S$685 million reported a year ago.
Sales of other eating places and fast food outlets grew by 6.7 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively in May compared to a year ago. However, turnover of food caterers and restaurants decreased 3.7 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively over the period.