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January-April retail sales up 4.5%

2018/05/26 15:33:20

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Taiwan's retail sales for the first four months of this year rose 4.5 percent from a year earlier on the back of a booming equity market which prompted investors here to spend, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Data compiled by the MOEA showed retail sales for the four months totaled about NT$1.40 trillion (US$46.74 billion), up 4.5 percent from a year earlier, the highest growth in six years.

The MOEA said after the benchmark weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange or Taiex closed above the 10,000 point mark for the first time in 17 years in late May 2017, the local main board has been booming since then, which boosted purchasing power of many equity investors.

In the first four months of this year, the average daily turnover on the local equity market rose 45.8 percent from a year earlier, which created wealth effects and lifted buying interest in the local retail market, the MOEA said.

After adjusting for the 1.65 percent increase in the consumer price index, real retail sales growth hit about 3 percent from a year earlier in the four-month period, the MOEA added.

Wealth effects were particularly obvious in the local auto market with sales of imported cars rising 14 percent from a year earlier in the four-month period, while overall auto sales gained 4.9 percent year-on-year, the MOEA said.

As a result, retail sales in the local auto and motorcycle market totaled NT$214.4 billion, up 15.4 percent from a year earlier, making a great contribution to overall retail sales, the MOEA data showed.

Due to the strong buying interest, sales generated by department store chains, supermarket operators, convenience store chains and hyper market operators also rose 7.6 percent, 5.1 percent, 7.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to NT$106.3 billion, NT$70.6 billion, NT$108.6 billion and NT$68.8 billion in the four months, the data indicated.

Retail sales in the information technology/home appliance business for the four months also gained 8.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$120.9 billion on the back of solid demand for 3C products as well as a relatively low comparison base over the same period of last year, the MOEA said.

In addition, revenue generated by the local wholesales sector and the food/beverage sector rose to a new high of NT$3.24 trillion and NT$156.3 billion, respectively, in the four-month period, up 3.8 percent and 4.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the MOEA.

In April alone, Taiwan's retail sales grew 3.6 percent from a year earlier to NT$340.1 billion, while revenue posted by the wholesale sector and the food/beverage sector also rose 2.8 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, to NT$808 billion and NT$37.4 billion, the MOEA said.

The ministry said since the number of foreign arrivals is expected to grow in the second half of this year, domestic demand will likely increase, accordingly, but the growth rate could be capped due to a relatively high comparison base seen a year earlier.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Frances Huang)
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