Business

Retail sales rise, but car sales remain weak

Retail sales rose in April for a second straight month, buoyed by double-digit gains in sales at petrol service stations, and of watches and jewellery.

Only weak car sales stood in the way of a stellar month.

But even then, total retail sales rose 2.6 per cent in April from a year earlier - the strongest showing since July last year - compared with a revised 2 per cent increase in March, according to the Singapore Department of Statistics.

Economists had forecast a 4.3 per cent rise for April.

On a month-on-month and seasonally adjusted basis, total retail sales gained 1.6 per cent in April.

Watches and jewellery were the strongest performers, jumping 14.3 per cent year-on-year, while retail sales at petrol service stations gained 13 per cent.

Other segments also raked in more, including department stores and sellers of medical goods and toiletries, apparel and footwear and recreational goods.

Motor vehicles performed the worst, dropping 6.4 per cent.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales would have jumped 4.9 per cent year-on-year.

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