Hong Kong: Retail sales improve in April
May 30, 2013
In April, retail sales increased 19.4% over the same month last year, which represents an improvement compared to the revised 10.1% increase tallied in March (previously reported: +10.2% year-on-year). In addition, the print overshot market expectations of a 14.0% rise. The April improvement was mainly the result of strong growth in sales of luxury goods and a rebound in sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco.
In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales increased 6.2% in the three-month period ending in April compared to the previous period ending in January. The reading marks a slight deceleration compared to the 6.5% increased recorded in March.
A government spokesman noted that retail sales "picked up strongly" in April, amid stronger sales of jewellery and valuable gifts, due to a spike in gold-related sales during that month. In addition, the spokesman 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.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist