S’pore’s retail sales increased 7.5% in October, but F&B revenue plummet amid Covid-19 restaurant restrictions, Economy News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – Retail sales in Singapore grew better than expected in October despite tighter Covid-19 restrictions, in part due to the surge in cellphone sales following the launch of new products.
Cash at the cash register rose 7.5% year on year, extending the revised 6.8% increase in September, according to data released by the Singapore Department of Statistics on Friday (December 3).
The rise in retail sales in October was stronger than the 4.4% growth reported by economists in a Bloomberg poll.
The continued recovery in October came in the midst of Singapore’s stabilization phase, which began on September 27 and was then extended until November 21, during which restrictions such as a two-person cap on social gatherings were in place.
However, tightening restrictions during this period weighed on the food and beverage services (F&B) sector, whose revenues fell in October.
Overall retail sales and F&B revenue also remained below Covid-19 levels in October.
Excluding motor vehicles, total retail sales increased 11.4%, compared with the 8.5% increase in September.
On a monthly, seasonally adjusted basis, revenue edged up 0.7% in October from the previous month.
The estimated total value of retail sales in October was $ 3.6 billion, of which about 15.2 percent came from online sales, slightly higher than the 15.1 percent recorded in September.
Most industries in the retail trade sector experienced year-over-year growth in October. In particular, the computer and telecommunications equipment segment jumped 72.9%, mainly due to higher sales of mobile phones.
Watches and jewelry saw sales growth of 26.9 percent, while sales at gasoline stations rose 16.3 percent.
In contrast, sales of optical goods and books, as well as motor vehicles, declined during the period.
Meanwhile, F&B service sales in October fell 4.5% year-on-year, reversing the 4.5% increase in September.
On a monthly, seasonally adjusted basis, F&B turnover fell 5% in October compared to the previous month. Up to five fully vaccinated diners were allowed to dine at F&B establishments for most of September.
Within the F&B sector, restaurant receipts fell 24% year-on-year in October, due to tighter restaurant restrictions from a year ago.
Conversely, catering revenue jumped 39 percent, due to the weak base last year when catering demand was weak.
Recipes at fast food outlets and cafes increased 10.1%, while food courts and other food places saw an increase of 5%. This was due to a higher demand for food deliveries.
The total value of F&B service sales was estimated at $ 659 million in October, of which online sales were 38.4%, more than September’s 34.1%.