Hong Kong: Retail sales beat expectations in October
November 30, 2010
In October, the volume of retail sales rose 19.6% over the same month last year. The figure was well above the 15.8% increase recorded in September and overshot market expectations that retail sales would expand 14.6%. While the monthly expansion was broad-based, the main drivers behind the resilient growth were sales of consumer durable goods, which increased 37.7% year-on-year; sales of jewellery, watches and valuable gifts rose 30.2% yoy. Seasonally-adjusted figures corroborate the strong growth suggested by the annual data. Retail sales increased 7.3% in the three-month period ending in October compared to the period ending in July. Moreover, the trend continues to point up, as annual average growth in retail sales increased from 13.8% in September to 14.7% in October. Looking ahead, a government spokesman was upbeat about the economy, anticipating improvements in jobs and income, together with robust levels of inbound tourism. These positive factors should continue to buttress consumption.