Consumer services

Restaurant and consumer sectors boosted by easing of Covid-19 restrictions; manufacturing is slowing down

SINGAPORE – Domestically oriented sectors finally got a boost in the first quarter of this year, buoyed by the gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions, according to research from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released on Thursday April 28.

But other segments, like manufacturing and modern services, lost some momentum and contracted instead.

Domestic-oriented business remained generally lackluster in the final quarter of 2021, weighed down by the further tightening of Covid-19 safe management measures, MAS said.

But as social restrictions have slowly eased since late last year, food and drink sales have risen and risen again in 2022.

Foodservice and catering sales also rose sharply.

Meanwhile, the ground transport sector grew in the first quarter of this year as ridership on public transport picked up, with half of employees who had been working from home starting to return to the office.

But retail sales contracted from January to February this year, after rising in the last three months of last year, due to weaker sales in supermarkets, groceries and miscellaneous stores, while people dined instead.

“In general, the retail sector has outperformed other consumer-facing industries over the past two years, partly reflecting the shift in demand toward essential and durable goods and away from high-interaction services over the past two years. the pandemic,” MAS noted.

The beleaguered construction sector also returned to growth in the first quarter of the year, following the easing of border restrictions on migrant workers from late February, alongside some improvement in supply in building materials.

But key manufacturing saw its industrial output contract, contributing to most of the slowdown in gross domestic product in the first three months of the year.

Industrial production was mainly weighed down by biomedical and transportation engineering clusters, while electronics production surged, supported by strong global demand for semiconductors used in data centers and 5G products.

Growth in the modern services sector has also slowed, driven by a decline in the information and communications sector due to lower results from the game publishing business.

Similarly, expansion in the finance and insurance sector moderated from its growth in the last quarter of 2021, dragged down by the fund management and insurance segments.