Jan 16, 2014

    Weak vehicle sales drag down Nov retail takings

    PLUNGING motor-vehicle sales sent overall retail takings down in November last year over the same month in 2012.

    Vehicle sales fell a striking 41.8 per cent year on year due to tougher loan restrictions, leaving total turnover for the retail sector down 8.7 per cent.

    If those weak motor sales are stripped out, overall retail sales would have risen 0.4 per cent in November, said the Department of Statistics yesterday.

    It was not just car dealers who had a difficult month.

    Retailers selling telecommunications apparatus and computers saw sales sink 11.7 per cent.

    OCBC economist Selena Ling said no new gadgets or devices were launched last November that could have ignited demand.

    But the picture was not bleak across all consumer segments.

    Supermarket sales improved 2.9 per cent, while turnover in the food-and-beverage segment climbed 2.5 per cent.

    Overall, retail sales shrank from January to November last year - and growing e-commerce figures are seen as a contributing factor.