Hong Kong’s retail sales hold double-digit growth

Hong Kong’s retail sales renaissance continued in June, with a 12 per cent rise for the month.

That is marginally less than the 12.9 per cent increase in May, and below the 13.4 per cent increase for the first half year, but the rate shows signs the growth is stabilising.

The Census and Statistics Department estimated the total value of retail sales in June at HK$37.8 billion (US$4.8 billion). After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of retail sales in June rose by 9.8 per cent.

Predictably, sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts led the way, up by 27.8 per cent. Other strong performing categories were cosmetics, up 18.3 per cent, department store sales up 15 per cent, footwear and accessories up 11.4 per cent and Chinese drugs and herbs up 10.3 per cent – all categories popular with visitors from Mainland China.

Retail categories largely dominated by local shoppers showed more modest growth: supermarket sales rose 1.1 per cent, electrical goods by 0.4 per cent, furniture and fixtures by 8.9 per cent, books and stationery by 3.1 per cent, optical shops by 6.9 per cent and food and alcohol by 8.9 per cent.

The C&SD said that after seasonal adjustment, the value of retail sales decreased by 0.2 per cent from the first quarter to the second and the volume by 0.1 per cent.

A government spokesman said the sustained double-digit growth of retail sales in June reflected favourable local consumer sentiment amid a tight labour market and rising visitor arrivals.

“Looking ahead, favourable job and income conditions and buoyant inbound tourism should continue to provide support to the retail sector in the near term. Yet, we need to closely monitor how the heightened external uncertainties might affect consumption sentiment going forward.”

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