Hong Kong: Retail sales remain dejected in July
August 30, 2019
Retail sales by volume dipped 13.0% year-on-year in July, a notable deterioration from June’s 7.6% contraction. July’s print comes amid ongoing mass protests which continue to negatively impact domestic demand.
The print was driven by a broad-based contraction in sales across all product categories, with particularly sharp declines for jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts .
On a seasonally-adjusted, three month-moving-average basis, retail sales volume in the May-July period fell 5.5% from the preceding three-month period ending in April, which posted a 2.8% decrease in the April-June period. Overall, the annual average variation in retail sales volume continued to slip, from growth of 0.3% in the 12 months up to June to a 1.3% decline in the period ending July. Looking ahead, private spending will likely remain depressed as a prolonged slowdown in the mainland and the trade war between China and the U.S weighs heavily on the external sector.
A government spokesman stated that:
“Retail sales will likely stay weak in the near term, as escalated US-Mainland trade tensions and subdued economic conditions continue to dampen consumer sentiment. The situation may even deteriorate further if the social incidents involving violence do not come to a stop.”
Author: Steven Burke, Economist