Hong Kong: Decline in retail sales softens slightly in April
June 1, 2020
Retail sales fell 37.5% year-on-year in April (March: -44.0% yoy).
The result was driven by a more moderate drop in food and non-alcoholic beverages sales. Moreover, clothing and footwear sales decreased at a softer pace than in March. However, fuel sales deteriorated, while jewelry, watches and valuables sales also decreased notably.
On a seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average basis, retail sales by volume in the February–April period plunged 26.2% from the preceding three-month period, which was sharper than the 20.5% decline in January–March. The reading marked the worst result on record.
Looking ahead, the retail sector will likely continue to deteriorate for the majority of the year due to tepid consumer confidence and low tourist arrivals. Moreover, a possible return of last year’s protests poses a serious downside risk to the outlook.
Author: Steven Burke, Economist