Hong Kong: Retail sales accelerate in September
November 1, 2012
In September, retail sales rose 8.5% over the same month last year. The print came in above both the 3.2% expansion seen in August and market expectations of a 6.0% increase. The faster expansion in September was driven by strong growth in sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as of durable goods. In addition, spending for the Mid-Autumn Festival helped buttress sales in September. In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales were virtually flat in the three-month period ending in September compared to the previous period ending in June, which contrasted the 0.1% drop recorded in August. A government spokesman reiterated that strong inbound tourism should support retail sales, but noted that the increased pressure on the labour market amid more cautious hiring sentiments, together with an uncertain external environment, may have a dampening effect on local consumer sentiment down the road.