SINGAPORE – Retail sales in Singapore rose 25.8 per cent last month on an annual basis, aided by a low base in the same month last year when stricter curbs to contain the Covid-19 pandemic were in place.

The year-on-year growth last month was smaller than the 79.9 per cent jump in May due to circuit breaker measures in place for the whole of May last year.

Singapore imposed strict circuit breaker measures from April 7 to June 1, 2020. By May this year, Singapore was in its third phase of lifting the circuit breaker measures.

However, the phase two curbs were reintroduced on May 8 for one week, before Singapore went into heightened alert from May 16 to June 13.

The measures were eased on June 14 but the country reverted to the heightened alert phase on June 22.

“Retail sales value continued to be below pre-Covid-19 levels,” noted the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat), which released the June figures on Thursday (Aug 5).

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 19 per cent, compared with the 61.7 per cent increase in May.

“Most retail industries, except for supermarkets and hypermarkets, and mini-marts and convenience stores, recorded large year-on-year increases in sales, due to the low base in June 2020 when physical stores were closed for about half of the month,” said SingStat.

The estimated total retail sales value in June this year was about $3.3 billion, of which online retail sales made up an estimated 15.4 per cent, compared with the 13.8 per cent recorded in May.

The higher online sales proportion in June was due mainly to online promotional events such as the Great Singapore Sale, SingStat said.

Excluding motor vehicles, the total retail sales value was about $2.7 billion, where online retail sales made up 18.4 per cent.

Online retail sales in the computer and telecommunications equipment, furniture and household equipment, and supermarkets and hypermarkets industries made up the bulk of the sales increase in June.

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