Taiwan's commercial sales in Jan. up 7.7%
CNATAIPEI -- Sales in the domestic commercial sector for January rose 7.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$1.21 trillion on strong wholesale buying, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday.
March 1, 2013, 1:38 pm TWN
The MOEA cited statistics showing that sales recorded by local businesses last month gained 12.6 percent from a year earlier and also rose 1.3 percent from a month earlier to NT$848.4 billion.
Commercial business sales are comprised of revenue posted by the retail, wholesale and restaurant sectors.
Last month, the local wholesale sector was largely boosted by rising sales in smartphones, tablet computers, and food and beverages, the ministry said.
However, sales in the retail and restaurant segments for the same month fell 1.8 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to NT$331.9 billion and NT$32.5 billion, the ministry added.
In January, sales generated by department stores and hypermarkets fell 22.1 percent from a year earlier, as consumers put their purchasing plans on hold until February, when the Lunar New Year holiday occured, the ministry said.
However, retail sales posted by online shops in January rose 16.8 percent from a year earlier, while car and motorcycle sales gained 9.6 percent year-on-year as many consumers tended to replace their vehicles ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
In addition, with the number of foreign visitors increasing, duty-free shops sales gained 2 percent from a year earlier, according to the statistics.
The year-on-year 6.7-percent decline in restaurant sales reflected a high comparison base against the same period in 2012. The 2012 Lunar New Year holiday fell in January, which boosted the amount of people dining out.
Yang Kuei-hsien, deputy director of the MOEA's department of statistics, said that as the Lunar New Year holiday this year ended on Feb. 18, private consumption could be compromised accordingly, and it is possible that commercial sales for the whole of February are likely to be down from last month.
But the silver lining is that with the local economy on the way to recovery, sales in the commercial sector are expected to get a boost this month, Yang said.
For the first two months of this year, Yang added, commercial sales are expected to rise about 2 percent from a year earlier.