Both restaurants and similar establishments and retail operators in the MSAR reported year-on-year increases in sales for the month of May, according to data from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC). The data results from the business climate survey conducted of the sectors, interviewing 167 restaurants and similar enterprises – which make up 53 per cent of the industry’s receipts – and 135 retailers – which account for 70 per cent of the industry’s receipts.
Restaurants in the city saw a 6 percentage point drop from the previous month in the percentage of respondents recording year-on-year growth, while those recording a year-on-year decline in receipts went up 10 percentage points, to 33 per cent.
The results were better than expected, as the April survey indicated only 18 per cent of respondents expected an increase in receipts. For June, expectations by the sector largely estimate a decrease in receipts, at 41 per cent, while only 22 per cent expect a year-on-year rise. Twenty-five per cent of Western restaurants, 27 per cent of Chinese restaurants and 18.8 per cent of Japanese and Korean restaurants predict increases. On the other hand, 60 per cent of Western restaurants predict a decrease, while in all categories those predicting decreases tally over 30 per cent.

‘Retailers remained cautious about their business prospects,’ notes the DSEC, pointing out that despite this 26 per cent of retailers expect a year-on-year increase in sales, a 3 percentage point uptick from May, while 38 per cent expect a sales decline.
For the month of May, 36 per cent of the retail respondents indicated that they had undergone a year-on-year sales decline during the month, a 2 percentage point drop from the previous month. Motor vehicle retailers however saw a better market than expected, with only 33.3 per cent of the respondents registering year-on-year declines in sales, 45 percentage points below April predictions. Other respondent segments experiencing better-than-expected results were those of adults’ clothing retailers and supermarkets, which exceeded forecasts by 40 and 33 percentage points, respectively.
Looking forward towards the month of June, 80 per cent of the respondents in the leather goods area expected sales increases, coming off of 100 per cent of respondents in May registering sales increases year-on-year.
Watches, clocks and jewellery retailers saw a 24 percentage point rise in expectations for sales increases in June, hitting 50 per cent, while department store respondents saw a 22 percentage point increase, to 56 per cent.
Motor vehicle retailers also saw a rosier outlook for June, with those predicting declines down 11 percentage points, to 67 per cent, however 44 per cent of the respondents expect a sales decrease of 20 per cent or more.