Lunar New Year calendar boosts retail sales in Singapore

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Singapore’s retail sales – excluding motor vehicles – jumped 15.8% in January, but that was mainly due to the earlier Lunar New Year timing, which brought sales ahead of the celebration from February to January.

With motor vehicle sales down 12% for the month, the increase in sales including vehicles was less than 11.8%.

Singapore’s Statistics Department said on a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales fell 2.1% month-on-month in January, excluding vehicles.

Online retail sales accounted for 14.7% of overall sales, slightly lower than in December, when 12.12 promotions boosted e-commerce turnover.

The online sector was dominated by IT and telecom products, which accounted for 51.6% of the category’s turnover, furniture and household equipment (28.5%), and supermarkets and hypermarkets (12 .9%).

Overall, the watch and jewelry, apparel, and department store sector saw the strongest growth in January, with increases of between 26% and 29%, largely due to spending ahead of the Lunar New Year. Gas station sales increased 25.5%, mainly due to higher gasoline prices.

Sales of books and stationery fell 5.5%.

Foodservices revenue increased 9.5% in January, following a 7.3% increase in December.

Online sales accounted for 29.1% of the sector’s turnover, against 28.6% in December.

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