Hong Kong: Decrease in retail sales narrows further in October
December 1, 2016
Although a strengthening U.S. dollar—to which the Hong Kong dollar is pegged—continues to weigh on the island’s retail sales performance, October’s reading marked the smallest decline in 2016 amid heavy discounts by retailers, upbeat local consumer sentiment and a less pronounced decline in tourist numbers. The volume of retail sales declined 2.7% in October, which was a noteworthy improvement from September’s 3.8% decrease. The reading marked the twentieth consecutive monthly decline in retail sales. The decrease in sale volumes was mainly registered in motor vehicles and parts as well as electrical goods, while sales of fuels and footwear products increased.
Seasonally-adjusted volumes of retail sales increased 1.5% in the three-month period ending in October compared to the three-month period ending in July. October’s figure was an improvement from September’s 0.8% decline.
A government spokesman indicated that, “looking ahead, the near-term outlook for retail sales will still hinge on the performance of inbound tourism as well as the extent to which local consumer sentiment will be affected by the various external uncertainties.”
Author: David Ampudia, Economist