Tue, Mar 24, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Sales down in retail, bar sectors

SUFFERING All nine categories of the wholesale sector saw contraction last month, with home electronics, chemicals and building materials seeing the largest drops

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sales in the wholesale, retail and bar and restaurant industries totaled NT$859.5 billion (US$25.38 billion) last month, down about NT$35.2 billion, or 8.23 percent, from the previous year and down 3.58 percent from January, the latest figures released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) showed yesterday.

The ministry’s Department of Statistics said that the Lunar New Year holiday this year falling in January accounted in part for the dollar value gap between last month’s retail, bar and restaurant sectors and figures posted for the same period last year, when the holiday fell in February.

Additionally, the effects of the continued slide in global consumer demand continued to be felt last month, with wholesale figures dropping 7.9 percent year-on-year to NT$587.3 billion, while growing 4.83 percent from January.

The domestic wholesale industry, which reflects the country’s import and export businesses, suffered its worst year-on-year declines, at 26.77 percent, and arrived at NT$565 billion in January, down 6.52 percent from December.

Furthermore, the retail, bar and restaurant sectors declined 9.55 percent and 3.51 percent year-on-year to NT$242.6 billion and NT$29.6 billion respectively last month, government data showed.

Officials from the ministry’s statistics department said by telephone yesterday that to do a fair comparison, it would be better to look at aggregate domestic trade during January and February between this year and last year.

Asked when domestic trade would rebound, an official said “it all depends on when global demand picks up.”

Aggregate trade reached NT$1.750.9 trillion, a contraction of 14.12 percent from same period last year. Of the three leading business sectors, only the bar and restaurant sectors managed to sustain growth, at 0.5 percent, while the wholesale and retail sectors dropped 18.57 percent and 4.65 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, all nine categories in the wholesale sector recorded a contraction from the same period last year.

Home electronics, chemicals, and building materials showed the largest declines at 31.19 percent, 27.14 percent, and 26.80 percent respectively.

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