Hong Kong retail sales rise ‘moderate’ in August

Hong Kong retail sales continued their steady but sure recovery in August, rising 2.7 per cent year-on-year.

The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) estimates retail sales totalled

HK$34.8 billion. After taking into account the revised estimate of 4 per cent for July, retail sales rose 0.3 per cent during the first eight months of this year, compared to last year. That takes the year-to-date figure out of the red after a shaky first two months of the year.

A government spokesman described August’s growth as “moderate” and said the rise was mainly supported by “the prevailing sanguine consumer sentiment amid a full-employment situation”.

“The near-term outlook for retail sales should remain positive given the favourable job and income conditions and stabilisation of inbound tourism. However, the various external uncertainties remain causes for concern.”

Categories to perform well (in order of the category’s impact on the total figure) were jewellery, watches and clocks, up by 7.3 per cent, supermarket sales (up 2.3 per cent),  department store sales (up 5.2 per cent), medicines and cosmetics (up 2.3 per cent), electrical goods and cameras (up 1.4 per cent), books and stationery (up 1.8 per cent), and furniture and homewares (up 3.5 per cent).

Apparel sales fell 0.6 per cent, food and liquor sales by 3.9 per cent, footwear and accessories by 5.2 per cent, Chinese drugs and herbs by 3.2 per cent and optical shop sales by 0.1 per cent.

After netting out the impact of inflation and other price changes year-on-year, Hong Kong retail sales rose 3.2 per cent in August.

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