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Singapore Retail Sales Log Record Fall In May

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Singapore's retail sales fell at a record pace in May due to the lockdown measures imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic, official data showed on Friday.

Retail sales plummeted 52.1 percent year-on-year, which was the biggest fall since the series began in 1986, Statistics Singapore said. In April, sales declined 40.3 percent.

Economists had expected the pace of decline to improve to 27.1 percent.

Excluding automobile trade, retail sales fell 45.2 percent year-on-year after a 32.5 percent decline in the previous month.

Sales at department stores shrunk 93.4 percent, while those at supermarkets and hypermarkets rose 56.1 percent.

Among various retail segments, the watches and jewelery stores logged the biggest fall of 96.9 percent. This was followed by clothing and footwear with a decline of 89.1 percent and automobile sales fell 85.7 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, retail sales dropped a seasonally adjusted 21.5 percent in May after a 31.3 percent decrease in April.

Compared to the previous month, retail sales excluding automobile trade decreased 20.1 percent in May after a 25.5 percent fall in April.

Sales of food and beverage services decreased 50.1 percent year-on-year, which slightly better than the 52.7 percent fall in April.

Food and beverages establishments were allowed to operate only on take-away or delivery basis during the lockdown. Month-on-month, sales increased 4.1 percent.

Online sales made up 24.5 percent of the total retail sales value and 44.6 percent of the total food and beverages sales value in May.

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