Hong Kong Retail February 2017

Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Worst decline in retail sales in six months in February

March 3, 2017

Retail sales declined 6.1% year-on-year in February, worsening significantly from January’s drop (-1.4% yoy). The result marked Hong Kong’s steepest decline in retail sales in six months. Retailers have seen 19 consecutive months of declines in sales volumes despite a recent influx of tourist arrivals.

The steep decline was partly due to the splitting of the Lunar New Year holiday over late January and early February, with consumer spending typically hitting a seasonal high ahead of the holiday week. By broad retail outlet type, supermarkets and department stores experienced the sharpest declines, while the fall in sales of consumer durable goods moderated from a month earlier.

A three-month moving average of seasonally-adjusted volumes of retail sales ending in February saw the sharpest decrease in nearly a year, declining 3.9% versus the previous period. This result came in below the 2.9% decline seen in the three-month period ending in January.

A government spokesperson noted that while any recovery will depend on inbound tourism and external factors, “local consumer sentiment remains well underpinned by the prevailing favourable job and income conditions.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect retail sales to increase 0.7% in 2017, which is unchanged from last month’s projection. Next year, the panel sees retail sales growing 2.1%.


Author:, Economist

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Hong Kong Retail Chart


Hong Kong Retail February 2017

Note: Year-on-year changes and annual average variation in %.
Source: Census and Statistics Department Hong Kong.


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