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S’pore retail sales rise 6.7pc in December after restrictions loosened

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore’s retail sales rose 6.7 per cent year-on-year in December, compared to the previous month’s adjusted increase of 2.2 per cent.

Sales of food and beverage services also went up – by 7.4 per cent in December, compared to November’s 1 per cent increase – driven by the loosening of dining-in restrictions from late November onwards.

Most retail sectors recorded year-on-year jumps, including the watches and jewellery industry which went up by 27.4 per cent, according to data released by the Department of Statistics Singapore (SingStat) yesterday.

People also bought more cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods, as well as clothes and footwear – all of which recorded increases of around 17 per cent in December compared to the year before. But the sales of motor vehicles fell 7.2 per cent, as did optical goods and books, which dropped five per cent year-on-year.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, sales in most industries grew, with department stores topping the list at 9.7 per cent.

People dine at a restaurant at Raffles Place in Singapore

Sales of F&B services rose 7.4 cent year-on-year in December, compared with the one per cent increase in the previous month.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales of F&B services increased 11.7 per cent in December over November. SingStat attributed this largely to the lower base in November when there were stricter dine-in restrictions due to COVID-19.

Dining-in was allowed for groups of up to two fully vaccinated people from November 1 to 21. This was increased to groups of five fully vaccinated people from November 22.

The total sales value of F&B services in December was estimated at SGD855 million. Of this, online F&B sales made up an estimated 28.6 per cent, compared to the 33.3 per cent recorded in November.

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