Hong Kong: Retail sales decelerate sharply in December
February 4, 2014
In December, retail sales increased 6.1% over the same month of the previous year, which was well below the revised 9.1% rise tallied in November (previously reported: +9.0% year-on-year). The reading undershot market expectations of a 7.3% increase and mainly reflected lower sales of consumer durable goods as well as clothing and footwear.
Retail sales expanded a seasonally-adjusted 4.7% in the three-month period up to December compared to the previous three-month period ending in September. The reading followed the 0.2% increase recorded in November and marked the largest jump since April 2013. A government spokesman stated that sales in December reflected, "a solid, albeit slower, year-on-year growth in December, reflecting the still positive consumer sentiment and further expansion of inbound tourism," and that, "the retail business should continue to be underpinned by favorable job and income conditions and sustained growth of inbound tourism in the near term."
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect retail sales to expand 12.4% in 2014, which is down 0.3 percentage points over last month's projection. Next year, the panel sees retail sales accelerating to a 13.0% increase.