Macau retail sales soar 16.2 per cent

Macau retail sales soared 16.2 per cent in the last quarter of last year.

Smartphone sales drove much of the growth, surging 31.7 per cent year on year, with leather goods up 24.8 per cent, pharmacy sales up 21 per cent, adult apparel up 20.6 per cent and department store sales up 20.1 per cent.

Watches, clocks and jewellery remained the biggest category accounting for 21.5 per cent of all Macau retail sales in the quarter to December 31.

Macau’s Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) estimated the total value of retail sales for the quarter at MOP19.08 billion (US$2.3 billion)   

After removing the effect of price changes, the volume of retail sales grew by 14.8 per cent year on year in the fourth quarter. Communication equipment sales soared 40.4 per cent, leather goods by 27 per cent and department store sales by 23.2 per cent.

The strong end to the year drove 2017’s total retail sales growth to 12.6 per cent.

The biggest-moving categories for the full year were leather goods, up 22.4 per cent, watches, clocks and jewellery, up 17 per cent, cosmetics, up 16.2 per cent department stores, up 14.9 per cent.

The DSEC also monitors retailer sentiment. “In respect of retailers’ comments, 42.9 per cent of the retailers anticipated a year-on-year decrease in sales volume in the first quarter of 2018, 41.7 per cent expected the sales volume to remain steady and 15.4 per cent forecast an increase,” the department said in a statement.

“Meanwhile, 59.6 per cent of the retailers expected the retail prices to stay stable year on year in the first quarter of this year, 23.2 per cent anticipated an increase and 17.2 per cent predicted a decrease.”

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