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.