Tourists fuel Hong Kong retail sales rebound

Continuing revival of inbound tourism and optimistic consumer sentiment drove a 3.9 per cent increase in Hong Kong retail sales in October.

And two consecutive months of solid increases has lifted the year-to-date increase to 1.2 per cent.

Official Census and Statistics Department figures estimate the total value of retail sales in October at $37.5 billion. The month’s rise followed a revised 5.7 per cent figure for September.

C&SD said that after netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of retail sales in October increased by 3.6 per cent year-on-year and by 5.7 per cent in September.

As expected, sales of jewellery, watches and luxury gifts drove the revival, rising 8.4 per cent year-on-year. Sales of medicines and cosmetics rose 9.9 per cent, of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco by 8.5 per cent, apparel sales by 7 per cent and department store sales by 6.2 per cent.

Sales of electrical goods and photographic equipment fell 2.2 per cent and of books, newspapers, stationery and gifts by 2.4 per cent.

A government spokesman indicated that the favourable income and employment situation, together with the ongoing recovery of inbound tourism, should continue to render support to retail business in the near term.

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