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Retail sales could grow in H2 2017 after slow 1st half: MOEA

2017/09/23 14:10:18

Taipei, Sept. 23 (CNA) Taiwan's retail sales for the entire year of 2017 could return to a growth pattern after a slow first half of the year partly because there are signs of a recovery in Chinese tourist arrivals which will boost consumption, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟), deputy director of the MOEA's statistics department, said that after 15 months of decline, the number of Chinese visitors to Taiwan rose in August, which is expected to bode well for consumption here.

According to the Tourism Bureau, visitor arrivals from China increased 0.59 percent year-on-year in August, the first monthly growth since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assumed office 16 months ago.

In addition, car and motorcycle vendors have been gearing up to launch new versions of their products to meet demand in the fourth quarter, a traditional peak season, and that is expected to stimulate buying for the second half of the year, the MOEA said.

In the first eight months of this year, Taiwan's retail sales fell 0.1 percent from a year earlier to NT$2.68 trillion (NT$88.74 billion), the MOEA data showed.

That's despite the fact that in August, retail sales in Taiwan totaled NT$342.6 billion, the highest-ever for the month, up 4.3 percent from a year earlier.

The growth failed to bring the revenue for the eight months to an increase. In July, retail sales fell 1.6 percent year-on-year.

The MOEA said that retail sales for August were boosted partly by department store chains' efforts to introduce new vendors and convenience store chains' strategies to open new outlets.

In August, department stores sales rose 2.2 percent from a year earlier to NT$23 billion, while revenue posted by convenience store operators gained 5.5 percent year-on-year to NT$28.5 billion, the MOEA data showed.

More significantly, sales posted by car and motorcycle vendors grew 30.3 percent from a year earlier to NT$50.7 billion in August largely on a relative low comparison base over the same period of last year as well as the debut of new models, the statistics indicated.

But sales posted by supermarket chains and hypermarket chains for August fell 1.0 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively year-on-year, while sales posted by communications and home appliance companies also dropped 2.5 percent from a year earlier, the MOEA said.

Meanwhile, sales posted by the local wholesale sector for August rose 6.0 percent from a year earlier to NT$882.7 billion, marking the 10th consecutive month of growth after seasonal adjustments, on the back of a strong export performance at a time of rising global demand, the MOEA said.

In the month, machinery sales of the local wholesale sector rose 7.6 percent from a year earlier to NT$372 billion, serving as the main driver for the entire sector's revenue, the MOEA added.

As for the food/beverage sector, the MOEA said, August sales rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier to NT$39.1 billion on the back of vendors' efforts to increase the number of their stores and introduce new products.

In the first eight months of the year, revenue posted by the wholesale sector hit NT$6.51 trillion, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier, while sales in the food/beverage sector grew 2.9 percent from a year earlier to NT$302.7 billion, the MOEA data showed.

(By Huang Li-yun and Frances Huang)