Hong Kong: Retail sales decelerate in May
July 2, 2013
In May, retail sales increased 12.2% over the same month last year, which represents a slowdown compared to the 19.4% increase tallied in April. In addition, the print undershot market expectations of a 16.6% rise. The May deceleration was mainly the result of fewer sales of fuels and consumer durable goods as well as softer growth in sales of jewellery and valuable gifts.
In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales increased 3.6% in the three-month period ending in May compared to the previous period ending in February. The reading marks a deceleration compared to the 6.2% increased recorded in April.
A government spokesman noted that retail sales "grew notably" in May, suggesting strong domestic demand. In addition, he underlined that stable job market conditions and further growth in inbound tourism should buttress retail sales in the coming months.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect retail sales to expand 13.4% in 2013, which is up 0.6 percentage points over last month's projections. Next year, the panel sees retail sales accelerating to a 15.0% increase.