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Singapore retail sales down 8.6% in October, improving from September

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The decline in Singapore's retail sales slowed in October, with takings down 8.6 per cent year on year, according to Singstat on Friday.

THE decline in Singapore's retail sales slowed in October, with takings down 8.6 per cent year on year, according to the Singapore Department of Statistics (Singstat) on Friday.

This was an improvement from September's revised figure of a 10.7 per cent fall, which had marked a brief deepening after lessening declines in July and August.

The total retail sales value in October was S$3.3 billion, with online sales accounting for 10.5 per cent. Excluding motor vehicles - which saw a 7.5 per cent rise in sales - retail sales fell 11.2 per cent in October, still an improvement from September's 12.5 per cent fall.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, retail sales edged up 0.2 per cent in October, or stayed flat if motor vehicles were excluded.

The pattern of declines was similar to that in previous months, with year-on-year falls in most retail industries, led by food and alcohol (-44.7 per cent), department stores (-35.2 per cent), and cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods (-30 per cent).

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Also seeing declines were wearing apparel and footwear (-26.3 per cent), watches and jewellery (-24.3 per cent), computer and telecommunications equipment (-17.2 per cent), optical goods and books (-14.7 per cent), petrol service stations (-12.4 per cent), and others (-19.9 per cent).

Supermarkets and hypermarkets continued to see the strongest growth in sales, up 22.3 per cent.

This was followed by furniture and household equipment (12.5 per cent), recreational goods (9.8 per cent), and mini-marts and convenience stores (0.9 per cent).

But on a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, most retail industries saw growth in October.

Takings continued to fall in food and beverage services, though at a slower pace. The October food and beverage sales value was S$692 million, down 23.5 per cent year on year, compared to September's 29.1 per cent.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, food and beverage sales were up 5.6 per cent.

Year-on-year declines were seen across the sector - though improving from September - with food caterers still seeing the greatest fall of 76.4 per cent.

This was followed by restaurants (-26.2 per cent), cafes, food courts, and other eating places (-12.5 per cent), and fast-food outlets (-3.6 per cent).

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