Consumer spending down 60% after circuit breaker measures, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Consumer spending down 60% after circuit breaker measures

This article is more than 12 months old

The circuit breaker measures since April 7 have hammered consumer spending, with sectors ranging from transport and clothing to recreation and culture hit hard.

The few untouched spots are in healthcare services and products, alcohol and tobacco products, and housing and utilities, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said yesterday.

It noted that visits to restaurants, malls and other recreational places have declined by about 60 per cent as at April 17, compared with the first five weeks of the year.

The measures, which saw consumer-facing services such as retail and entertainment suspended, and which MAS described as "essentially a partial shutdown of the economy", will have varying degrees of impact on consumers.

Shifts in retail spending are expected in the short term, as households increase outlays on daily necessities and reduce discretionary spending, especially on luxury and durable goods.

Tchoukball coach Lin Sun Tang, 28, who became a full-time Deliveroo rider a few months ago, said: "Now I am working double the hours but earning less."

With his monthly income now about $500 less than the $2,500 he used to earn as a coach, Mr Lin said he usually eats just one meal a day, partly due to lack of time and also because he is trying to cut costs.

Actress Jo Tan, 37, and her husband, actor and part-time lecturer Edward Choy, 40, had to cut their living expenses by more than half after most of their gigs were cancelled due to the outbreak. Ms Tan is now trying to diversify into online corporate training.

MAS said food and beverage outlets near residential areas that are open for takeaway or delivery may outperform higher-end restaurants, which tend to be in business districts.

Mr Samuel Yik, founder of Chinese restaurant chain Dian Xiao Er, said revenue at its 10 suburban outlets has been around the same or better than the previous financial year.

Its outlets at Marina Square and Jewel Changi Airport have been shut due to low footfall, with staff deployed at its central kitchen instead. - THE STRAITS TIMES