Hong Kong: Retail sales unexpectedly rebound in August
September 29, 2014
In August, retail sales rose 2.8% over the same month last year, which contrasted the 4.5% drop tallied in July. August’s print put an end to six consecutive contractions in retail sales and contrasted the 3.3% decline that markets had expected. Strong growth in sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco as well as a soft decline in sales of jewelry and valuable gifts were behind the monthly increase.
A government spokesman stated that the rebound in retail sales mainly reflected less negative dynamics in sales of jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts, “amid fading base effects, while the sales of many other goods that are more closely related to local consumption increased moderately.” The spokesman also noted that, “the performance of retail sales will hopefully turn better in the near term as the high base effects continue to recede. However, in view of the downside risks associated with the changing pattern in tourist spending and uncertainties in the external environment, we will stay alert and monitor the retail business situation.”
Retail sales rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.7% in the three-month period up to August, compared to the previous three-month period ending in May. The reading contrasted the 4.1% drop recorded in July.