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Financial News: Hong Kong Retail Sales Fall At Faster Rate

Hong Kong Retail Sales Fall At Faster Rate In February

03/30/2017 - 05:55:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Hong Kong's retail sales declined at a faster pace in February, preliminary figures from the Census and Statistics Department showed Thursday.

The value of retail sales fell 5.7 percent year-over-year in February, which was worse than the 1.0 percent drop in January. The measure has been falling since March 2015.

Similarly, retail sales volume decreased at a faster rate of 6.1 percent annually in February, following a 1.4 percent fall in the prior month.

During the first two months of the year, total retail sales value dipped 3.2 percent compared with the same period last year.

The value of sales of jewelery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts decreased 1.2 percent in the January to February period from a year ago and sales at supermarkets slid by 3.5 percent. On the other hand, the value of sales of medicines and cosmetics increased by 2.7 percent.

"The performance of retail sales was still constrained by the lack of growth in tourist spending despite the modest recovery of visitor arrivals in recent months. Taking the first two months of 2017 together to neutralise the distortions by the timing of the Lunar New Year," a government spokesman said.

"Looking ahead, the performance of retail sales will depend on the recovery pace of inbound tourism as well as whether consumer sentiment will be affected by the various external uncertainties."

"At present, local consumer sentiment remains well underpinned by the prevailing favourable job and income conditions. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely."

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