Retail sales in Hong Kong, estimated at USD46.6 billion, decreased 14.6 percent compared with the same month in 2014, according to the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released on Tuesday.
C&SD said retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year.
The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts decreased by 21.4 percent in January 2015 compared with a year earlier.
This was followed by sales of wearing apparel (-12.8 percent in value); commodities in supermarkets (-13.1 percent); commodities in department stores (-11.3 percent); medicines and cosmetics (-0.1 percent); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-8.7 percent); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (-10.5%); miscellaneous consumer durable goods (-44.1 percent); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-19 percent); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-3.3 percent); fuels (-21.4 percent); Chinese drugs and herbs (-9.6 percent); and optical shops (-5.6 percent).
Meanwhile, the value of sales of electrical goods and photographic equipment increased by 1.3 percent. This was followed by sales of motor vehicles and parts (+6.1 percent in value); and furniture and fixtures (+5.9 percent).
Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the value of total retail sales increased by 0.7% in the three months ending January 2015 compared with the preceding three-month period, while the volume of total retail sales increased by 2.5%.
Looking ahead, the C&SD said near-term performance of retail sales will continue to hinge on the labour market conditions and inbound tourism growth.