Hong Kong: Retail sales continue losing ground in September
October 31, 2013
In September, retail sales increased 4.9% over the same month last year, marking the lowest increase since October 2012. The reading, which represents a deceleration compared to the 7.2% expansion recorded in August, undershot market expectations of an 8.3% rise. The deceleration reflected lower sales in most of the sub-categories of the index, particularly in the sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, as well as in jewelry and valuable gifts.
Retail sales contracted a seasonally-adjusted 6.5% in the three-month period up to September compared to the previous three-month period ending in June. The reading follows the 3.5% drop recorded in August. Despite the deceleration in September, a government spokesman stated that ongoing stability in the labor market, along with resilient inbound tourism, should continue to support growth in retail sales going forward.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect retail sales to expand 12.8% in 2013, which is unchanged over last month's projection. Next year, the panel sees retail sales accelerating to a 13.4% increase, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's estimate.