Hong Kong: Retail sales beat expectations in March
May 3, 2011
In March, retail sales rose 20.0% over the same month last year. The print was well above the subdued 5.0% expansion in February, owing to the Lunar New Year seasonality, and also exceeded market analyst expectations, which had retail sales expanding 13.5%. The monthly expansion showed resilient growth in sales of consumer durable goods as well as jewellery, watches and valuable gifts, while sales of food dropped. In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales increased 3.7% in the three-month period ending in March compared to the previous period ending in December, which is a full percentage point above the 2.7% increase recorded in February and confirmed the resilience of consumer demand. A government spokesman stated that improving job conditions and robust tourism spending will continue to buttress consumption.