Hong Kong: Retail sales remain robust in May on tourism boost
July 4, 2011
In May, retail sales rose 21.6% over the same month last year. The print was slightly below the revised 22.1% expansion in April (previously reported: +21.9% year-on-year) but exceeded market analyst expectations, which had retail sales expanding a softer 18.4%. The monthly expansion was driven by resilient growth in sales of consumer durable goods as well as jewellery, watches and valuable gifts, while sales of food dropped for a second consecutive month. In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales rose 8.0% in the three-month period ending in May compared to the previous period ending in February, which was above the 6.0% increase recorded in April and confirmed the resilience of consumer demand. A government spokesman stated that domestic demand as well as robust tourist spending will continue to buttress consumption. Moreover, the government expects GDP to expand 5.0%-6.0% this year, owing to strong economic activity.