ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – Takings at the till climbed at a faster pace in December, rising 7.4 per cent year on year, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics yesterday.
This was better than the revised 6.5 per cent rise in November, which had eased from the double-digit growth in the previous seven consecutive months. The high growth in those months was fuelled by tourist spending and shoppers buying big-ticket items ahead of the goods and services tax hike in January.
December’s growth in retail sales comes amid the year-end festive season, a period marked by shopping sprees but also a popular time for Singaporeans to holiday abroad, which they could do much more easily last year.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales in December rose by 9.5 per cent, extending the nine per cent increase seen in November.
Overall takings rose 1.3 per cent from November, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This reversed a 3.6 per cent drop from October to November.
Year on year, retail sales grew for most categories, with food and beverages experiencing the largest increase of 37.4 per cent, followed by wearing apparel and footwear, which rose 23 per cent.
This was mainly due to higher demand for bags and footwear.
Sales of watches and jewellery; cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods; furniture and household equipment; and at department stores grew between 11 per cent and 19.9 per cent.