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Retail sales index sees 8.6pc decrease in Q4 2021

In the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021, the retail sales index (RSI) performance in Brunei Darussalam showed a year-on-year decrease of 8.6 per cent with an estimated retail sales value of BND417.1 million. The Food and Beverages Services Index (F&BSI) has also decreased by 22.9 per cent compared to the Q4 of 2020 with an estimated sales revenue of
BND74.2 million.

On retail sales, almost all activities have shown a decrease in sales compared to last year driven mainly by the sales of textiles, wearing apparel and footwear which decreased by 33.3 per cent, followed by sales in petrol station by 25.7 per cent; sales of furniture and household equipment by 15.7 per cent; sales in department store by 10.3 per cent; and sales of electrical household appliances and lighting equipment in specialised stores by 6.2 per cent.

On food and beverages services, the decrease in sales compared to the previous year was attributed to the decrease in sales revenue of restaurants by 25.9 per cent, followed by fast-food outlets by 16.7 per cent and beverage serving activities by 16.2 per cent.

Compared to 2020’s Q4, the decline in sales of most retail activities and sales of food and beverages services was in line with the re-instatement of control measures for the most part of 2021’s Q4, following the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, such as dine-in prohibition effective until November 18, 2021 and allowing only at 50 per cent capacity starting November 19, 2021, compared to full capacity the year before.

Compared to the third quarter (Q3) 2021, the RSI in Q4 2021 has recorded an increase of seven per cent, mainly due to an increase in sales of recreational goods by 40.6 per cent, followed by sales of computer and telecommunications equipment by 28.5 per cent; sales of watches and jewellery by 25.6 per cent; sales of hardware, paints and glass in specialised stores by 22 per cent; and sales of electrical household appliances and lighting equipment in specialised stores by 17.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the F&BSI has recorded an increase of 0.1 per cent in Q4 2021 compared to Q3 2021, mainly due to the increase in sales revenue of beverage serving activities by 11.5 per cent and restaurants by 2.5 per cent. This was in line with the Transition Phase starting November 19, 2021 where commercial premises including restaurants, cafes and food courts are permitted at 50 per cent venue capacity.

The RSI and F&BSI are preliminary indicators of economic performance for both activities and provides an 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’ website at https://deps.mofe.gov.bn.

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