Taipei-Retail sales in Taiwan grew more than 3 percent from a year earlier in 2018, boosted by high year-end spending that pushed December sales to their highest ever for the month, according to Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) figures.
Taiwan's retail sales rose 3.20 percent year-on-year in 2018 to a record high of NT$4.28 trillion (US$139 billion), MOEA data released this past week showed.
The pace of growth was the highest since 2014, when retail sales rose 3.9 percent. . The solid demand led to revenue gains across most distribution channels.
Department store sales were up 1.5 percent in 2018 from a year earlier to NT$339.7 billion, supermarket chain sales rose 5.9 percent to NT$221.9 billion, and convenience store revenues grew 6.3 percent to NT$337.5 billion, the data showed.
Hypermarket chain revenues rose 2.5 percent to NT$202.1 billion, while sales posted by auto and motorcycle vendors rose 0.8 percent to NT$636.3 billion.
Information/communications and home appliance retailers saw sales rise 0.7 percent to NT$348.6 billion and the sales of online retailers rose 6.7 percent year-on-year to NT$254.7 billion, according to the data.
In December alone, retail sales rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier to a new high for the month of NT$387.2 billion, the MOEA said.
For the fourth quarter, Taiwan's retail sales grew 1.2 percent year-on-year to NT$1.13 trillion.
The fourth quarter growth was the lowest in 2018, after increases of 3.8 percent in the first quarter, 4.6 percent in the second quarter and 2.3 percent in the third quarter, the data showed.
Despite the year-end surge in spending, sales of communications devices and home appliances were disappointing in December, falling 10.9 percent from a year earlier to NT$28.3 billion, the MOEA said.
The food and beverage sector's sales for 2018 as a whole rose 4.6 percent from a year earlier to a new high of NT$473.1 billion, after a 6.2 percent year-on-year surge in December sales to NT$42.8 billion.
The MOEA said the retail sales of food and beverage vendors are expected to grow 3-5 percent in January from a year earlier ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, which will start on Feb. 2.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel