Brunei retail sales up by 10.3pc

Retail sales performance in Brunei Darussalam continued to show an increase of 10.3 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter (Q3), after increasing by 1.6 per cent in second quarter (Q2) 2020, said the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (JPES), Ministry of Finance and Economy yesterday, adding that the value of retail sales in Q3 2020 was estimated at BND407.3 million.

The increase in retail sales was mainly driven by the sales of computer and telecommunication equipment which increased by 42.2 per cent followed by the sales of electrical household appliances and lighting equipment by 28.2 per cent; sales in supermarkets (10.6 per cent); and sales in department stores (9.0 per cent). This increase was in line with the increase in domestic demand for certain goods following several measures implemented due to the COVID-19 outbreak such as online learning and teaching, work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and travel restrictions abroad.

Meanwhile, there were also declines recorded for some other goods such as books, newspapers and stationery in specialised stores (23.6 per cent), hardware, paints and glass in specialised stores (9.5 per cent), and petrol station (3.7 per cent).

For food and beverage services in Brunei Darussalam in Q3 2020, sales performance of these services declined by 1.6 per cent compared to Q3 2019.The value of sales for food and beverage services was estimated at BND84.5 million.

The decrease in sales of food and beverage services was attributed to the decline in income of other food services (31.4 per cent), fast food outlets (1.5 per cent) and restaurants (0.8 per cent). De-escalation plan following the situation of COVID-19 outbreak for dine-in services started on July 27 where food premises are allowed to operate at full capacity as usual (100 per cent). However, since the implementation has just started, the sales of food and beverage services have not reached the normal level as in 2019 and experienced a decrease compared to Q3 2019.

As compared to Q2 2020, retail sales in Q3 2020 recorded a decline of 3.9 per cent mainly due to a decrease in sales in department stores by 9.4 per cent. Meanwhile, food and beverage services recorded a 18.8-per-cent increase in Q3 2020 compared to Q2 2020, mainly due to the increase in revenue of restaurants by 24.0 per cent.

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 are available on JPES website.