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Hong Kong retail sales up in October

Hong Kong retail sales gained in value terms in October, as improved tourism from eased pandemic restrictions and the dissemination of a new batch of consumption vouchers spurred spending, according to government data released on December 1.

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October retail sales rose 3.9 percent from a year earlier in value terms to total HKD 31.9 billion (USD 4.10 billion), according to the latest figures released by the Census and Statistics Department.

That compared with HKD 28.1 billion in September, when retail sales inched forward 0.3 percent from a year earlier.

By sector, the value of sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods increased 11.4 percent. In addition, sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts grew 13.6 percent; other consumer goods were up 2.2 percent; food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco was up 2.1 percent; medicines and cosmetics increased 5.9 percent; motor vehicles and parts surged 57.6 percent; fuel up 5.3 percent; books, newspapers, stationery and gifts skyrocketed 36.3 percent; Chinese drugs and herbs increased 8.3 percent; and optical shops jumped 3.8 percent

Looking ahead, a government spokesman pointed out that improved labour market conditions and the ‘Consumption Voucher Scheme’ will continue to provide support to the retail sector, though tightened financial conditions will partly offset the effects. Moreover, consumption-related activities should gradually regain momentum if the local epidemic situation remains under control and the various restrictive measures can be relaxed in an orderly manner, added the official.

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“As long as the local epidemic situation remains under control and the various restrictive measures can be relaxed in an orderly manner, consumption-related activities should gradually regain momentum,” a government spokesman said.

In volume terms, retail sales in October rose 2.4 percent from a year earlier. For the first ten months of the year, the volume decreased 3.5 percent from a year earlier.