TAIPEI (CNA) — The food and beverage sector, which has been hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions so far this year, is expecting a rebound in the second half as restrictions ease and more consumers feel comfortable going out, according to an industry insider.
As more customers flow into department store food courts as fears over COVID-19 ease, food and beverage sales in June are expected to return to the same level as the same period last year, said Retailers Association of Chinese Taipei Secretary-General Steve Chan (詹武哲).
With the pandemic contained and stimulus measures to be put in place in July, the food and beverage sector sales are expected to turn months of decline into growth in the coming six months, Chan said.
The return in consumer confidence may have already been evident in May, when the decline in food and beverage sales may have fallen to under 20 percent year-on-year at about 8-15 percent, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has estimated.
According to MOEA statistics, revenue in the sector in February, March and April was down 17 percent, 21 percent and 22.8 percent year-on-year, respectively.
Of note, the sector’s sales in April totaled NT$47.9 billion, the lowest since December 2014, and the 22.8 percent fall from a year earlier was the steepest drop in 20 years, according to the MOEA.