Hong Kong: Retail sales fall again in March
May 5, 2016
In March, retail sales fell 8.8% over the same month last year, which represented a milder contraction compared to the 19.6% decrease tallied in February. March’s reading was mainly the result of persistent weak inbound tourism. Looking at the data in detail, March’s decrease reflected a plunge in sales of jewelry and watches as well as in consumer durable goods. In the first quarter of 2016, retail sales decreased 12.5% over the same period last year.
Retail sales fell a seasonally-adjusted 9.1% in the three-month period ending in March compared to the three-month period ending in December. This is down from the 9.0% decrease registered in the previous month.
A government spokesman stated that, “the slowdown in inbound tourism continued to pose a severe drag, and the uncertain economic outlook and asset market consolidation had conceivably also hurt local consumption sentiment. The near-term outlook for retail sales will continue to depend on the performance of inbound tourism, and on the extent to which the local consumption sentiment is affected by the headwinds arising from the subpar economic conditions and external uncertainties.”