Domestic demand drives Brunei’s retail sales growth

In the second quarter (Q2) of 2020, retail sales performance in Brunei Darussalam continued to show an increase of 1.6 per cent year-on-year, after increasing by 5.8 per cent (revised from 4.3 per cent) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020. The value of retail sales in Q2 2020 was estimated at BND423.7 million.

This was driven by the increase in domestic demand for certain goods following several measures implemented due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, such as online learning and teaching due to the closure of schools and educational institutions, work-from-home (WHF) arrangements and travel restrictions abroad.

The sales of Computer and Telecommunication Equipment increased by 59 per cent, while department stores and supermarkets, which are the top two activities in retail trade, also recorded increases in their sales by 7.7 per cent and 7.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, declines were recorded for goods such as books, newspapers and stationery in specialised stores (33.8 per cent), textiles, wearing apparel and footwear (32.4 per cent), food and beverages in specialised stores (20.3 per cent) and petrol station (18.2 per cent) due to the reduction in household expenses for those goods.

As compared to Q1 2020, retail sales recorded an increase of 4.4 per cent in Q2 2020, among others due to the increase in sales of electrical household appliances and lighting equipment in specialised stores (29.5 per cent), recreational goods (17.4 per cent), furniture and household equipment (17 per cent) and department store (12.7 per cent).

For food and beverage services in Brunei Darussalam in Q2 2020, sales performance declined by 12.4 per cent compared to Q2 2019. The value of sales for food and beverages services was estimated at BND71.1 million.

The decrease was attributed to the decline in income of restaurants (15 per cent) and other food services activities (38.3 per cent) following the impact of the dine-in ban at all food premises due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Q2 2020.

Meanwhile, compared to Q1 2020, food and beverage services also recorded a 16.3 per cent decline in Q2 2020. This is due to the decline in revenues of restaurants (18.3 per cent), fast food outlets (6.6 per cent) and other food service activities (36 per cent).

The Retail Sales Index (RSI) and Food and Beverages Services Index (F&BSI) are preliminary indicators of economic performance for both activities and outlook for consumer spending trends in Brunei Darussalam on a quarterly basis.

Full reports of both activities are available from the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS) website www.deps.gov.bn.