Singapore's retail sales increased at a faster-than-expected pace in January, after falling sharply in the previous month, figures from the Department of Statistics showed on Tuesday.
Retail sales rose 7.6 percent year-on-year in January, reversing a 5.8 percent fall in December. Economists had expected a 2.6 percent rise.
Sales of motor vehicles alone grew 20.0 percent from last year, reversing the 20.7 percent slump in December. The massive growth in January was attributable to the Motor Show event, the statistical office said.
Higher demand due to the pre-Chinese New Year festive season led to sales growth of between 8 and 10.5 percent in clothes and footwear, medical goods and toiletries, department stores, supermarket and hypermarkets, and food retailers.
In contrast, sales of computer and telecommunications equipment decreased 11.5 percent, partly due to weaker demand for mobile phones.
Excluding motor vehicles, total retail sales advanced 5.3 percent following a 2.8 percent decline in December.
Retail sales edged up a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent month-on-month in January, reversing a 2.3 percent fall in December. Excluding automobile sales, retail sales fell 1.5 percent.
In January, the total value of retail sales was about $4.2 billion, and online retail sales accounted for 4.8 percent of that.