• Singaporean retail sales rise year-on-year in December

    Source: FxWire Pro - Commentary / 12 Feb 2018 12:01:09   Eastern Standard Time

    Singapore’s retail sales grew year-on-year in December, while the print for November was downwardly revised. Retail sales grew 4.6 percent year-on-year, whereas it fell 0.2 percent sequentially in the month. The print for November was downwardly revised to 5 percent year-on-year. Market expectations were for retail sales to have come at 4.7 percent.

    Motor vehicles, computer & telecommunications equipment and supermarkets mainly drove retail sales in December. On the other hand watches & jewelry and optical goods & books were laggards. Stripping autos, retail sales grew a more subdued 0.6 percent year-on-year in December, after a revised 4.4 percent growth in November 2017.

    For the whole of 2017, retail sales rose 1.8 percent, the slowest rate since 2014 and also a slowdown from the 2016 growth of 2.2 percent year-on-year. The arrival of e-commerce in recent years has possibly posed a headwind to the domestic retail scene; however, the possible introduction of an e-commerce tax at the upcoming 2018 Budget might slightly level the playing field going ahead. While healthy GDP growth of 2 percent to 4 percent is expected for 2018, the rebounding labor market might not necessarily translate into improved retail sales growth, noted Selena Ling, head of Treasury Research & Strategy, OCBC Bank.

    This contrasts with STB data that indicated visitor arrivals grew 6.2 percent to 17.4 million and tourism receipts expanding 3.9 percent to SGD 26.8 billion respectively, in the midst of the global economic rebound and outbound travel demand in key markets on the back of greater flight connectivity. These surpass the 2017 forecasts of 16.4-16.7 million visitor arrivals and $25.1-25.8b respectively.

    “Looking ahead, STB is generally optimistic about tourism prospects for 2018 and tip 17.6-18.1m visitor arrivals (+1.4 percent yoy) and $27.1-27.6b tourism receipts (+1.3 percent yoy)”, stated Selena Ling.

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