Double-digit rise in Hong Kong retail sales in March

Hong Kong retail sales soared 11.4 per cent in March, another strong month after the 15.7 per cent gain of the combined January and February sales.

For the first quarter of this year, retail sales increased by 14.3 per cent over the same period last year.

A government spokesman said the sustained a double-digit year-on-year increase was buttressed by upbeat local consumer sentiment under generally favourable economic conditions and by the continued increase in visitor arrivals.

“Looking ahead, the outlook for retail sales should stay sanguine in the near term, given the positive employment and earnings prospects, and the buoyant inbound tourism.”

After netting out the effect of price changes year on year, the volume of total retail sales in March increased by 10 per cent.

Unsurprisingly, jewellery, watches and valuable gifts led the rise, soaring 23.1 per cent in March. Apparel sales rose 11.2 per cent, cosmetics and medicines by 16.5 per cent and footwear and accessories by 14.4 per cent. Sales in department stores rose 17.7 per cent and in optical shops by 11.2 per cent.

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