ONCE again, a huge surge in motor vehicle sales pulled up Singapore's retail sales in August. In year-on-year terms, retail sales grew 6.1 per cent, according to data released by the Department of Statistics on Thursday.
Excluding the massive 43.9 per cent rise in car sales, retail sales would have increased by a far more moderate 1.3 per cent.
The total retail sales value in August 2015 was estimated at S$3.5 billion, higher than the S$3.3 billion in August last year.
Apart from car sales, only one other segment - medical goods & toiletries - experienced double-digit growth. Medical goods & toiletries sales rose 10.9 per cent year-on-year in August.
The third- and fourth-best performing areas were watches & jewellery (8.7 per cent) and department stores (5.1 per cent) respectively.
The jump in motor vehicle sales helped to offset declines in other areas, such as petrol service stations (-20 per cent), optical goods & books (-11.8 per cent), and food & beverages (-6.4 per cent).
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales increased 5 per cent in August over the previous month.
Excluding motor vehicles, however - sales of these rose 12.1 per cent month-on-month - retail sales would have increased a smaller 3.7 per cent from July.