Hong Kong: Retail sales slow to slowest pace in almost three years
August 30, 2012
In July, retail sales rose 1.3% over the same month last year, the lowest level since September 2009. The print came in well below both the 8.5% expansion seen in June and market expectations of a 5.6% increase. The slower expansion in July showed how strong sales for consumer durable goods were partially offset by declining sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as of jewellery and valuable gifts. In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales fell 0.9% in the three-month period ending in July compared to the previous period ending in April, which contrasted the 1.9% expansion recorded in June. Despite the negative monthly reading, a government spokesman noted that "the still-favourable job conditions and further expansion of inbound tourism should remain generally supportive to the retail business". The government expects full-year economic growth to range between 1.0% and 3.0%.