Retail Sales in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Retail Sales | Economic News & Forecasts

Hong Kong - Retail Sales

Retail sales continue to crumble in December

Retail sales by volume declined 21.0% year-on-year in December, although less sharply than November’s revised 25.5% plummet (previously reported: -25.4% year-on-year). Ongoing civil unrest, which continues to keep tourists at bay, remains the key factor driving the downturn in retail sales as of late.

In December, tourist arrivals dropped 51.5% year-on-year, after nosediving 55.9% in November. Tourism is expected to remain suffocated in the first quarter as the recent outbreak of the coronavirus serves another blow to Hong Kong’s frail tourism sector. Hong Kong has closed its border off to almost all travel in and out of mainland China, while international airlines—specifically in the U.S.—have suspended flights to Hong Kong until further notice.

The slightly weaker deterioration in sales volume was mainly driven by less pronounced falls in sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco; clothing and footwear; and consumer durable goods. That being said, all sectors barring fuel purchases continued to contract at an alarming pace in December.

On a seasonally-adjusted, three-month moving average basis, retail sales by volume in the October–December period dipped 6.7% from the preceding three-month period, softer than the 11.2% decline in September–November. Overall, the annual average variation in retail sales volume fell 12.5% in 2019 after growing 7.6% in 2018.

Looking ahead, protests are expected to keep the retail and tourism sectors depressed, but uncertainty over the coronavirus outbreak will likely also drag more on private consumption.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project real retail sales to decrease 4.8% in 2020, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2021, the panel sees retail sales growing 4.3%.

Hong Kong - Retail Sales Data

2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)-0.2  -1.5  -7.1  1.9  7.6  

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Hong Kong Retail Sales Chart


Hong Kong Retail
Note: Annual variation of retail sales in %.
Source: Census and Statistics Department Hong Kong and FocusEconomics calculations.

Hong Kong Facts

Value Change Date
Bond Yield1.823.38 %Dec 31
Exchange Rate7.79-0.11 %Jan 01

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