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Singapore retail sales gains 13 percent in July

Singapore retail sales surged by over 13 percent in July, growing at a slower pace than June, as inflation hit new highs during the month.

According to figures released by the Department of Statistics on September 5 (Singstat), Singapore retail sales in July rose 13.7 percent year-on-year, cooling off from the revised 14.9 percent growth in June, equating to a 0.6 percent increase month-on-month. Retail sales dipped 1.4 percent between May and June.

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Excluding motor vehicles, year-on-year growth came in at 18.1 percent in July, down from the revised 19.9 percent increase in the previous month, the department said.

For July, the estimated retail sales value in July was SGD 3.9 billion (USD 1.9 billion), of which 12.7 percent came from online retail sales.

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Sales rose year on year across almost all categories. The exceptions included motor vehicles, supermarkets and hypermarkets, mini-marts and convenience stores industries.

The decline in sales of motor vehicles corresponded to the lower Certificate of Entitlement quota this year, Singstat said.

Supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as mini-marts and convenience stores, saw a fall in sales compared to a year ago. In July 2021, there was a ‘Heightened Alert’ period, thus encouraging more people to stay home and leading to a higher demand for groceries. The wearing apparel and footwear industry recorded the highest year-on-year increase in sales at 68.3 percent, partly attributed to higher demand for bags and footwear.

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Overall inflation for July came in at 7 percent – the highest in 14 years since it reached 7.5 percent in June 2008, according to the Strait Times. Core inflation, which excludes costs of private transport and accommodation, totalled 4.8 percent in July, fuelled by higher prices of food, electricity and gas.