Retail sales in Singapore continued to modestly improve with a slightly stronger-than-expected 1.8 per cent rise in July from a year ago as the majority of categories enjoyed growth.
Analysts polled by Bloomberg had tipped sales to rise by 1.7 per cent.
July's performance was slightly below the revised 2 per cent rise in takings in June, which followed the 0.8 per cent increase in May.
Sales of cars and other vehicles edged up 0.3 per cent year on year, turning around from the 5.6 per cent drop in sales in June. Excluding this category, July retail sales grew 2.2 per cent year on year, according to the Department of Statistics data yesterday.
The total retail sales value in July was estimated at $3.7 billion, higher than the $3.6 billion in July last year.
Compared with the previous month, retail sales increased by 3 per cent over June. Excluding motor vehicles, they rose 2.6 per cent.
Sales at petrol service stations and department stores, and of medical goods and toiletries, watches and jewellery, wearing apparel and footwear, computer and telecommunications equipment, recreational goods, motor vehicles and supermarkets increased between 0.1 per cent and 8.1 per cent.
On the other hand, retail sales of furniture and household equipment, food retailers, minimarts and convenience stores, and optical goods and books declined between 1.2 per cent and 6.3 per cent.