Singapore retail sales dropped 3.2 percent in February from a year ago, defying economists’ predictions for an expansion in the industry and providing more evidence of a slowing economy.
The contraction followed growth of a revised 7.6 percent in January, Statistics Singapore said in an e-mailed statement on Friday. The median estimate of 12 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 3.4 percent increase in February.
The data comes a day after the Monetary Authority of Singapore surprised the market by easing policy in the trade-dependent nation, announcing it won’t seek currency appreciation. Economic growth was stagnant in the first quarter on an annualized basis compared with the previous three months, the trade ministry said on Thursday.