Hong Kong: Retail sales continue to lose momentum
July 3, 2012
In May, retail sales rose 5.8% over the same month last year. The print came in below both the 7.6% expansion seen in April and market analysts' expectations of a 6.7% increase. The reading marked, in fact, the lowest growth rate since February 2011. In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales rose 2.8% in the three-month period ending in May compared to the previous period ending in February, which was below the 3.4% expansion recorded in April. A government spokesman noted that "while the job market conditions and inbound tourism would continue to render some support to the retail business, the rather adverse external environment amid the European debt crisis could weigh on consumer sentiment down the road". The government expects full-year economic growth to range from 1.0% to 3.0%.