Hong Kong: Retail sales growth recovers in October following September's slump
November 30, 2018
Retail sales by volume expanded 5.2% in annual terms in October, picking up markedly from the feeble 1.4% increase recorded in September. The acceleration came largely on the back of a surge in sales of consumer durable goods as well as other consumer goods—such as medicine and cosmetics. Sales of luxury goods were also robust in the month. Conversely, supermarket sales, and sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (excluding supermarkets) both declined in October.
On a seasonally-adjusted, three-month-moving-average basis, retail sales volume in the August–October period decreased 1.8% from the preceding three-month period ending in July. The print followed a 3.0% decrease in the three-month period ending in September. Meanwhile, annual average variation in retail sales volumes rose from 8.6% in September to 8.7% in October.
A government spokesperson noted that:
“growth in retail sales picked up somewhat in October after a deceleration in the preceding month, supported by the faster increase in visitor arrivals and continued income growth. […] Looking forward, strong inbound tourism and favourable job and income conditions should continue to support the retail sector in the near term. Yet, consumer sentiment could increasingly be affected by the external uncertainties and weaker asset markets.”
Author: Joffrey Simonet, Economist