The retail sector last month posted record sales of NT$320.6 billion (US$11.09 billion), up 2.9 percent from a year earlier, driven by year-end promotions and government stimulus packages, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
That lifted third-quarter sales to NT$990.7 billion, up 4.6 percent year-on-year, ministry data showed.
Retail sales in the e-commerce segment last quarter expanded 20.3 percent year-on-year to NT$82.8 billion, outpacing the retail sector as a whole as consumers turned to the Internet amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry said.
Photo: Wu Chia-ying, Taipei Time
Retail sales could “very possibly” end in growth territory for the full year, as year-end shopping sprees might offset weakness in the first half due to the pandemic, the ministry said.
“If we can grow by 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter, we will end up with year-on-year growth for retail in 2020,” Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Huang Wei-jie (黃偉傑) said. “Looking at typical fourth-quarter growth, that is very possible.”
Wholesale revenue last month rose 8.2 percent year-on-year to NT$952.1 billion, an all-time high, the ministry said.
It attributed the increase to pent-up demand for electronic components and chips used in smartphones.
Wholesale revenue last quarter rose 2.8 percent year-on-year to NT$2.74 trillion, the data showed.
Mechanical equipment revenue last month rose 11.1 percent from a year earlier, pharmaceutical and makeup sales were up 15.8 percent year-on-year, and automotive wholesale increased 9.9 percent year-on-year, mainly boosted by launches of new vehicles, it said.
Revenue in the food and beverage sector was NT$64.7 billion, up 0.3 percent year-on-year, the ministry said.
Restaurant revenue was up 2.1 percent year-on-year and sales at beverage stores rose 0.6 percent, but the catering and banquet trade was still sharply down, 29.4 percent lower than a year earlier, the ministry said.
With the speed cryptocurrency is emerging as the millennial generation’s alternative asset of choice in India, it is hard to imagine that just two years ago a couple of blockchain pioneers were briefly in police custody. Sathvik Vishwanath and Harish BV, cofounders of a then five-year-old start-up, were arrested in late 2018. No, they had not pulled off a shady initial coin offering. Their “crime” was that they put up a kiosk in a mall in Bangalore where customers could swap bitcoin, ether or ripple for cash or vice versa. That was the whole point of unocoin, their crypto token exchange.
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