Taipei-Taiwan's retail and wholesale sectors reported July sales that where the highest ever for the month as retailers benefited from promotional campaigns and wholesale operators saw sales of electronic devices accelerate.
The retail sector posted sales of NT$326.8 billion (US$10.41 billion) in July, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier after a 4.5 percent increase in June, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
The wholesale sector totaled NT$905.4 billion in July, up 1.0 percent from a year earlier and a reversal of a 6.0 percent year-on-year decline in June, the data showed.
Wang Shu-chuan (???), deputy head of the MOEA's statistics department, said department stores launched "Summer Day" sales in July, while supermarkets and hypermarts were helped by heavy spending ahead of Ghost Month, which runs from Aug. 1 to Aug. 29 this year.
Sales by department stores were up 6.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$26 billion in July, and sales by supermarkets, hypermarts, and convenience store chains grew 4.9 percent, 6.8 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively, to NT$18 billion, NT$17.9 billion and NT$29.2 billion last month, MOEA figures showed.
The auto and motorbike industry had NT$65.1 billion in sales in July, up 18.8 percent from a year earlier as new models unveiled by car vendors boosted buying ahead of Ghost Month.
Online retail sales gained 10.0 percent to NT$23.6 billion in July because of promotions and rising shipments of 3C gadgets and home appliances.
In Taiwan, consumers tend not to buy big-ticket items such as cars or homes during Ghost Month to avoid bad luck, instead making their purchases before or after the Ghost Month.
Wang said the machinery and equipment sector, which covers computers, wearable mobile devices, electronic and electrical equipment, and machinery, helped the wholesale sector climb out of the doldrums seen a month earlier.
Sales posted in these categories rose 3.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$363.9 billion in July, while revenue posted by the auto and motor bike industry rose 10.7 percent to NT$78.2 billion on strong buying ahead of Ghost Month.
The local food and beverage sector saw sales rise 5.0 percent from a year earlier to NT$69.7 billion, similar to a 5.1 percent year-on-year increase in June, the MOEA said.
Within the sector, restaurant operators benefited from the high season for tourism with NT$57.9 billion in revenue, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier, while beverage vendors saw revenue rise 8.2 percent to NT$8.5 billion, the MOEA added.
In the first seven months of 2019, Taiwan's retail sales rose 2.4 percent from a year earlier to NT$2.197 trillion, while the wholesale sector posted NT$5.84 trillion in sales, down 2.7 percent.
For the food and beverage sector, sales totaled NT$474.5 billion, up 4.9 percent from a year earlier.
Wang said the retail and food and beverage sectors are expected to post 2-5 percent year-on-year increases in sales in August, when summer sales continued and Father's Day and Chinese Valentine's Day, which fell on Aug. 7 this year, spurred spending.
The wholesale sector, however, was expected to be hurt in August by trade friction between the United States and China and a relatively high base of comparison last year, Wang said.
She estimated wholesale revenue will fall 1-4 percent year-on-year in August.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel