Hong Kong Retail June 2017

Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Further signs of a turnaround in retail sales appear in June

August 2, 2017

For a second consecutive month and only the third month in nearly two years, retail sales rose in June. After edging up by 0.6% year-on-year in May, sales at retail outlets grew by 0.4% in June. Although growth in sales volumes eased slightly from a month earlier, likely the result of a decline in inbound tourist arrivals in the month, recent dynamics suggest the retail sector is in the earliest stages of its long-awaited turnaround.

Growth was uneven across outlet types, with department store sales going unchanged from a year earlier while clothing and footwear retailers experienced sales growth. Moreover, both supermarkets and fuel retailers recorded more moderate declines from a month earlier. Food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco sales decelerated for another month, while jewelry sales recorded a decline—likely the result of fewer luxury-focused mainland Chinese shoppers in June.

The three-month moving average of seasonally-adjusted volumes of retail sales ending in June increased 2.5% versus the previous period. This result followed on the 4.5% increase seen in the three-month period ending in May.

A government spokesperson noted that, “the near-term performance of retail sales would depend on the pace of recovery in inbound tourism and the extent of improvement in the external economic environment.”

Having now notched three months of sales volumes growth this year, it looks increasingly likely that full-year growth could turn positive in H2. That said, FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect retail sales to increase 1.1% this year, which is unchanged from last month’s projection. Next year, the panel sees retail sales growing 1.9%.


Author:, Economist

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HongKong Retail June 2017

Note: Year-on-year changes and annual average variation in %.
Source: Census and Statistics Department Hong Kong.


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