Business

Retail takings dip 0.1 per cent in October

Plunging sales of computer and telecommunications equipment left retail turnover in the doldrums in October, the second consecutive month of decline.

Total takings dipped 0.1 per cent compared with the same month last year, according to the Department of Statistics yesterday.

This fell short of economist expectations of a 1 per cent growth, according to a poll by Bloomberg.

But October's figure narrowed from a 0.6 per cent decline in September, revised from an earlier 0.5 per cent dip.

With motor vehicles stripped out, retail sales grew 0.8 per cent - much weaker compared with September's expansion of 3.3 per cent from a year ago.

On a month-on-month basis, retail takings rose 1.5 per cent.

But with car sales stripped out, they fell 1 per cent.

The computer and telecommunications equipment segment was by far the worst performer, plunging 23.4 per cent from October last year.

The best performers were medical goods and toiletries, which rose 7.7 per cent, and petrol service stations, up 7.4 per cent.

Compared with September, computer and telecoms equipment was again the laggard, declining 21 per cent, followed by apparel and footwear with a fall of 5 per cent.

More promisingly, restaurant sales expanded by 0.7 per cent, reversing a decline of 0.7 per cent seen in September. October's figure also grew 3 per cent on a month-on-month basis.

The total retail sales value in October was estimated at $3.6 billion, similar to a year ago. - THE STRAITS TIMES

BUSINESS & FINANCE