Hong Kong: Retail sales growth slumps again in November amid signs of mainland slowdown
January 3, 2019
Retail sales by volume rose 1.2% in annual terms in November, sharply decelerating from the 5.3% revised growth print logged in October (previously reported: +5.2% year-on-year). The moderation was largely due to declining sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (other than supermarkets); fuels; clothing and footwear; and luxury goods, as well as lower supermarket sales.
On a seasonally-adjusted, three-month-moving-average basis, retail sales volume in the September–November period decreased 1.8% from the preceding three-month period ending in August. The print matched the decline recorded in the three-month period ending in October. Meanwhile, annual average variation in retail sales volume fell from 8.7% in October to 8.3% in November.
A government spokesperson noted that:
“The generally moderated growth in retail sales in recent months reflected more cautious consumption sentiment in the face of various external uncertainties such as the US-Mainland trade tensions and volatilities in the global financial markets. […] Looking forward, while the favourable local job and income conditions and continued expansion in inbound tourism should still provide some support to the retail sector in the near term, consumer sentiment could be affected by weaker asset prices and the external uncertainties”.
Author: Joffrey Simonet, Economist