Hong Kong: Retail sales soar on Lunar New Year holiday
March 3, 2014
In January, retail sales increased 16.8% over the same month last year, which was well above the 6.1% rise tallied in December. The reading, which more than doubled market expectations of a 7.5% increase, reflected higher sales across the board, with both sales of consumer durable goods and luxury products recording the largest gains.
Retail sales expanded a seasonally-adjusted 6.6% in the three-month period up to January compared to the previous three-month period ending in October. The reading followed the 3.6% increase recorded in December. A government spokesman stated that January's strong figure, "was partly affected by the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year, which fell in late January and early February this year but in mid-February last year." The spokesman also noted that, "the favourable job and income conditions and sustained growth of inbound tourism should continue to render support to retail business in the near term."
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect retail sales to expand 11.6% in 2014, which is down 0.4 percentage points over last month's projection. Next year, the panel sees retail sales accelerating to an 11.5% increase.