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Hong Kong Retail April 2024

Hong Kong: Retail sales contracts at sharpest pace since March 2022 in April

Retail sales plunged 16.5% compared to the same month a year earlier in April, which followed March’s 8.7% decrease. The outturn marked the worst reading since March 2022, and meant that retail sales moved further below their pre-Covid-19 levels. April’s notable downturn largely reflected double-digits drops in sales of food, fuel, jewelry and clothing.

Meanwhile, annual average retail sales growth fell to 5.3% in April (March: +7.8%), which marked an over one-year low.

The government attributed the decline in retail sales to poor weather, a high base of comparison, and residents traveling outside Hong Kong during the Easter holidays rather than spending money locally. The latter has been a persistent trend since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.

Our Consensus is for retail sales to decline over 2024 as a whole in annual terms, which will feed through to softer private consumption growth this year relative to last.

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