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Singapore's retail sales up 6.1% in May on exuberant car sales

People looking at used cars at Turf City. Retail sales in Singapore rose 6.1 per cent in May compared to the previous year, mainly due to a big jump in the sales of motor vehicles, figures from the Singapore Department of Statistics showed on Wednesday.

A WHOPPING 46.6 per cent increase in motor vehicles sales boosted Singapore's retail sales in May, which rose 6.1 per cent year-on-year, according to data released by the Department of Statistics on Wednesday.

Excluding the exuberant car sales, retail sales would have increased a far more modest 0.9 per cent.

Total retail sales value in May was estimated at S$3.5 billion, higher than May 2014's S$3.3 billion.

The high double-digit surge in motor vehicle sales helped to offset poorer performances in areas such as petrol services stations (-16.2 per cent), recreational goods (-11.9 per cent), and optical goods & books (-8.3 per cent).

In contrast, retail sales of medical goods & toiletries, department stores, and supermarkets rose 10.3 per cent, 4.9 per cent, and 3.6 per cent respectively.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales rose 2.4 per cent in May over the previous month.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales would have increased 1.8 per cent month-on-month.