Taipei, Sales generated by the local retail sector reached the highest-ever July level on the back of intensive promotional efforts for pre-order sales ahead of the Ghost Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
The booming e-commerce market and rising home appliances sector also served as an engine for growth in July retail sales, while fuel earnings were boosted by an increase in international crude oil prices that month, the MOEA said.
Data compiled by the MOEA showed that retail sales for July stood at NT$350 billion (US$11.36 billion), up 3.2 percent from a year earlier after a 4.9 percent year-on-year increase seen in June.
It was the sixth consecutive month for retail sales to post a year-on-year rise at a time of a recovering economy.
However, the MOEA said the July growth was compromised to some extent by a decline in sales in smartphones after purchase incentives provided by local telecom operators ended.
In July, sales generated by convenience store chains rose 8.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$29.9 billion after vendors intensified efforts to launch pre-order sales for the Ghost Festival, which fell on Saturday, and the Mid-Autumn Festival, which will be on Sept. 24, the MOEA said.
Supermarkets and hypermarkets also benefited from the pre-festival buying, posting NT$18.9 billion and NT$17.0 billion in sales, respectively, in July, up 3.2 percent and 0.5 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA added.
It said sales generated by department stores rose 0.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$24.5 billion in July. Fuel sales, which rode the waves of rising crude prices, jumped 24.3 percent from a year earlier to NT$24.3 billion.
In that month, e-commerce vendors recorded NT$19.6 percent in sales from a year earlier, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier, as demand for computer gaming and 3C devices was on the rise, the MOEA added.
Bucking the upturn, sales posted by information/communications and home appliances fell 6.2 percent to NT$28.4 billion due to an end to promotional campaigns, according to the MOEA.
In terms of the wholesale sector, the MOEA said sales raked in by the sector rose 4.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$878.8 billion as demand for machinery remained strong and international electronics brands placed orders to build up inventory for their new product launch, the MOEA said.
In July, revenue generated by machinery, handheld device, computer and electrical equipment manufacturing firms rose 5.8 percent from a year earlier to NT$377.9 billion, the MOEA said.
It added that the local food and beverage sector was keen to expand its operations by adding new outlets and benefited from the effects of the 2018 FIFA World Cup so its sales for July rose 3.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$40 billion.
In the first seven months of this year, retail sales rose 4.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$2.45 trillion, and revenue of the wholesales sector and the food and beverage sector grew 4.4 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, to NT$5.88 trillion and NT$275.6 billion.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel