February fall for Hong Kong retail spending
Hong Kong retail spending shrank in February according to data from Mastercard.
While the official figures will not be released by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) until next week, Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures consumer spending across all payment types, including cash, found that retail sales contracted by 3.2 per cent year on year in February.
However, Hong Kong retail spending data is always affected in January and February by the changing timing of Lunar New Year, which is why C&SD advises both January and February figures should be counted together before comparing with previous years.
According to Mastercard, which did not amalgamate January and February data for a fair comparison with last year, the drop in February retail sales was seen across the board, with clothing, grocery, health & beauty, jewellery and furniture all experiencing a year-on-year decrease.
“After an impressive 21-month growth trend, we have seen a decline in retail sales in Hong Kong, particularly around Chinese New Year, due to various reasons ranging from the unusually warm winter to consumer confidence,” said Sasha Krstic, executive VP, services – Asia Pacific at Mastercard.