The nation’s domestic commercial sales, which include the food and beverage, retail and wholesale sectors, totaled NT$1.192 trillion (US$39.8 billion) last month, up 2.83 percent from the previous month, but 0.49 percent less than the same period last year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a press release on Friday.
The ministry’s latest data showed the wholesale sector, the largest component of domestic commercial sales, had experienced a 2.98 percent decline year-on-year to NT$829.7 billion due to the slowing global economy.
However, the retail sector showed a 5.67 percent increase year-on-year to NT$331 billion, the second-highest on record, as consumers increased purchases before the Lunar New Year holiday, the ministry said.
Retail sales last month were also boosted by transportation-related items, with an increase of 10.94 percent year-on-year in sales of automobiles, motorbikes, and automobile parts and accessories, while growth in general merchandise sales also increased 7.68 percent year-on-year in the month on the back of rising sales from convenience stores, department stores and hypermarkets, it said.
The food and beverage sector saw a 6.49 percent annual rise in sales at NT$31.3 billion for the month, ministry data showed.
Looking ahead, domestic commercial sales are likely to lose momentum this month due to the slowing economy, the ministry said, citing a recent survey of domestic firms that showed only 8.29 percent of the polled companies said they expected sales to rise this month from last month, while 19.42 percent expected sales to fall this month and 72.29 percent held a neutral view.
For the full year, commercial sales reached a record level of NT$14.27 trillion last year, up 4.39 percent from 2010, with the food and beverage sector leading with the biggest increase of 7.94 percent to NT$372.1 billion, followed by the retail sector’s 6.41 percent growth at NT$3.72 trillion.
Companies in the wholesale sector, meanwhile, registered an annual increase of 3.55 percent in sales last year to a record high of NT$10.17 trillion, the ministry said.
Other than the chemicals and clothing categories, which saw sales decline by 1.89 percent and 0.36 percent year-on-year respectively, other wholesale categories all showed positive growth for the year, it said.