Singapore’s March retail sales see biggest drop in 22 years due to COVID-19 hinh anh 1People wear face masks to avoid COVID-19 infection at a supermarket in Singapore on April 3 (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
Singapore’s retail sales in March dropped 13.3 percent compared with the same period last year, the biggest decrease in 22 years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Singapore Department of Statistics.

Total retail sales in March were estimated at 3.3 billion SGD (2.33 billion USD). Of this, online retail sales made up an estimated 8.5 percent, up from 7.4 percent in February.

The fall, the worst since September 1998, was mainly attributed to weakened domestic consumption and falling number of tourists.

Apparel and footwear sales saw the largest drop, at 41.6 percent, while the sales of food and alcohol also declined, by 41 percent.

But sales at supermarkets and hypermarkets jumped 35.9 percent, due to higher demand for groceries as more people stayed at home with safe distancing measures being implemented, the Department of Statistics noted.

Mini-marts and convenience stores also saw takings increase, by 4.7 percent.

According to a report of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s economy will fall into a recession this year due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in job losses and lower wages. The MAS forecasted that Singapore’s economic growth could even dip further in the second quarter this year./.