The Week in Numbers: Singapore’s Retail Sales Up

China’s service industry grew at the slowest pace in 21 months in September. The Caixin services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropped to 50.6. A reading above 50 indicates growth. This followed August’s three-month high of 52.7.

Caixin’s composite manufacturing and services PMI dropped to 51.4 in September from 52.4 in August, the lowest level in three months. Overall China’s economy has grown by a better than expected 6.9% in the first half of the year and is expected to beat the year target of 6.5%.

Meanwhile, Singapore retail sales rose 3.5% in August on a yearly basis but declined 0.3% from July. Excluding motor vehicle sales, the yearly metric would have risen to 3.7%. Most categories in retail showed better results this month on an annual basis, with petrol service stations leading the way at 9.5% increase, recreational goods at 8.3%, medical goods and toiletries at 7.6%, and motor vehicle sales at 2.8%.

The four categories that slid were optical goods and books (-4.1%), food retailers (-2.1%), mini-marts and convenience stores (-1.1%) and watches and jewellery (-0.4%). Overall, total retail sales value in August is estimated at S$3.7 billion, up from S$3.5 billion from a year ago.

Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 4.6% in the third quarter on a yearly basis, according to advance estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. This the fastest pace in 13 quarters. It also represents an improvement from the second quarter’s 2.9% growth.

Manufacturing was the shining light once again, expanding 15.5% year-on-year, up from the previous quarter’s growth of 8.2%. Services industry grew by 2.6%, while construction sector declined 6.3%.

Women in Singapore are saving more in their CPF accounts. In the past 10 years, women’s average balance rose by 8.3% a year, slightly more than the 7.7% increase for men. Consequently, CPF balance difference between the genders narrowed from 16% in 2006 to 11% in 2016.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Jeremy Chia doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned.