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Singapore retail sales drop 1.5% YOY in March

Singapore's total retail sales in March dropped 1.5% year over year to S$3.8 billion, which the city-state's Department of Statistics partially attributed to slower motor vehicle sales.

On a seasonally adjusted month-to-month basis, total retail sales were up 2.3% from February. Excluding motor vehicle sales, retail sales in March were up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis and 1.1% month to month.

Across all retail sales categories in March, department stores led growth with a 9.1% year-over-year increase. Sales also rose 7.5% for food retailers, 6.4% for gas stations, 6.2% for medical goods and toiletries, 5.0% for apparel and footwear, and 5.0% for watches and jewelry.

Meanwhile, sales dropped 16.1% year over year in the motor vehicles category, 8.0% for computer and telecommunications equipment, and 2.4% for optical goods and books.

Total sales for food and beverage services in March were S$716 million, representing year-over-year growth of 3.6% and a month-to-month decline of 1.3%. Among those services, fast-food outlets posted a 16.1% year-over-year increase in March sales.

As of May 11, US$1 was equivalent to S$1.34.