Hong Kong: Retail sales maintain momentum in January
March 4, 2013
In January, retail sales rose 10.4% over the same month last year, which marks the strongest reading seen since March 2012. The print overshot the 8.5% rise recorded in the previous month and exceeded market expectations of a 7.8% increase. The January increase was driven by strong growth in sales of consumer durable products as well as luxury goods.
In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales jumped 6.2% in the three-month period ending in January compared to the previous period ending in October. The reading marked an acceleration compared to the 4.6% increase recorded in December.
A government spokesman stated that retail sales expanded strongly in January despite the distortion caused by the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in February this year compared to January in 2012. In addition, the spokesman stressed that stable job market and further growth in inbound tourism should support retail sales going forward, but noted that developments in the external sector poses considerable uncertainties.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect retail sales to expand 12.8% in 2013, which is unchanged over last month's projections. Next year, the panel sees retail sales accelerating to a 14.0% increase.