15 Mar '11, 3pm

Retail sales up 2.9% in Jan, beating forecast

RETAIL sales rose in January over the figure in the same month a year ago, as a growing job market and Chinese New Year activities spurred consumer spending. Shoppers spent 2.9 per cent more than they did a year earlier, beating the median forecast of a 1 per cent increase in a Bloomberg News survey of six economists. Excluding vehicles, total retail sales grew 15.6 per cent, after gaining a revised 8.9 per cent in December, said the Department of Statistics on Tuesday. 'The end-of-year bonus payments and the Chinese New Year effect helped increase discretionary spending' said Barclays Capital economist Leong Wai Ho. HSBC's chief economist for India and Asean, Mr Leif Eskesen, noted that 'retail sales are building on a sound foundation of good job prospects and rising wages'. On a month-on-month basis, retail sales fell 2.9 per cent in January - faster than the revised 0.6...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/...

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