SINGAPORE – Takings at the till in Singapore grew at a slower pace in June as inflation that month touched its highest levels since 2008.

Retail sales rose 14.8 per cent year on year, cooling from the 17.8 per cent growth in May, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Friday (Aug 5).

The latest figure fell short of the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg, who projected sales to grow by 18.3 per cent.

Excluding motor vehicles, year-on-year growth came in at 19.8 per cent.

But compared to May and seasonally adjusted, retail sales fell 1.4 per cent in June. Sales dipped month-on-month for many categories, with the largest drops coming from more big-ticket and can-do-without items like computers and smartphones, furniture and household equipment and recreational products.

SingStat said the year-on-year growth in June retail sales was mainly due to a low base in the same month last year, when measures such as international travel restrictions were in place.

But six of the 14 categories saw slower year-on-year growth in sales and three had worse takings.

Sales at supermarkets and hypermarkets slid 11.3 per cent, while takings at minimarts and convenience stores fell 4.9 per cent. This was due to higher demand for groceries in June 2021 as more people stayed home with working from home the default arrangement under Heightened Alert measures.

Motor vehicle sales dropped by 11.4 per cent amid a lower Certificate of Entitlement quota this year, while sales of furniture and household equipment dipped by 0.4 per cent.

Sales of apparel and footwear jumped 92.4 per cent, compared with 99.8 per cent the previous month.

Sales at department stores rose by 57.8 per cent in June, falling from the 73.2 per cent growth in May, while watches and jewellery saw sales increase by 53.6 per cent versus May’s 60.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, the sales of food and beverage services grew by 59.1 per cent year on year in June, gaining speed from the 40.1 per cent increase in May.

The significant growth in F&B sales in June was also due to a low base in the same month last year, which saw restrictions on dining in, said SingStat.