Hong Kong: Retail sales growth accelerates in April
June 2, 2015
In April, retail sales increased 2.4% over the same month last year, accelerating from the 0.8% rise tallied in March. April’s performance was mainly the result of a stronger growth in sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco as well as sales of electrical goods, which more than offset decreases in the sales of jewelry and wearing apparel.
A government spokesman explained that, “retail sales performance remained subdued in April, mainly dragged by the marked fall in the sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts, largely reflecting weaker visitor spending on big-ticket items. Many other items also showed sluggish sales performance. Yet, retail outlets selling certain consumer durable goods continued to register notable growth in sales and provided some buffer, mainly helped by the launch of certain smartphone models.” The official also noted that, “The near-term retail sales performance will continue to hinge on inbound tourism growth, although the stable labour market conditions should render support to local consumer sentiment.”
Retail sales fell a seasonally-adjusted 5.0% in the three-month period ending in April compared to the three-month period ending in January. The result represented a large decrease from the 1.0% contraction recorded in the previous month.
Author: Eric Denis , Economist