Hong Kong: Tourism continues to buttress retail sales
August 1, 2011
In June, retail sales rose 22.2% over the same month last year. The print was above the revised 21.1% expansion in May (previously reported: +21.6% year-on-year) and exceeded market analyst expectations, which had retail sales expanding a softer 21.5%. The 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 third consecutive month. In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales rose 5.6% in the three-month period ending in June compared to the previous period ending in March, which was below the 7.4% increase recorded in May. Despite the moderation, the reading 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.