April sales suffered their biggest drop for a decade in Singapore as shoppers cut back on high-ticket purchases in the country’s deepest recession to date.

The retail sales index fell 11.7 per cent in April against last year. Sales had fallen 7.3 per cent in March and 5.5 per cent in February.

The Singaporean government has had to revise its unemployment rate from 3.2 per cent to 3.3 per cent in the first quarter.

The economy in Singapore is expected to contract by up to 9 per cent this year, which would be its worst contraction since 1965, when it split from Malaysia.