Hong Kong: Retail sales hit a 10-month low in August
October 3, 2013
In August, retail sales increased 7.2% over the same month last year, marking the lowest increase tallied since October 2012. The reading, which represents a deceleration compared to the revised 8.8% expansion recorded in July (previously reported: +8.9% year-on-year), undershot market expectations of a 9.5% rise. The deceleration reflected lower sales of jewelry and valuable gifts as well as of fuels.
Retail sales contracted a seasonally-adjusted 3.5% in the three-month period up to August compared to the previous period. The reading follows the 3.0% drop recorded in July. Despite the deceleration in August, a government spokesman stated that growth in retail sales should continue to receive support from still-stable labor market conditions and resilient inbound tourism going forward.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect retail sales to expand 12.8% in 2013, which is unchanged over last month's projection. Next year, the panel sees retail sales accelerating to a 13.5% increase, which is also unchanged from last month's estimate.