The 3.1% uptick in Hong Kong was a measure of total revenues, while retail sales in volume terms gained 2.7%, rising for the first time since July 2015 according to figures released by the Hong Kong government’s Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) on Monday.
“Retail sales resumed moderate year-on-year growth in March,” said the government in a statement.
“This reflected partly the continued recovery of visitor arrivals and partly the robust local consumption demand.”
Local tourism surged 10.4% in March compared to the same month last year, pushed on by the return of mainland Chinese arrivals. It was the most growth recorded since February 2015.
March’s return to growth follows a dire start to 2017 for local retailers. Hong Kong retail sales dived 5.7% in February, after January sales contracted just 1%, said the C&SD.
In recent months, Hong Kong tourism has been hurt by an influx of Chinese tourists to Macau, the only Chinese territory where gambling is legal. The region is fast becoming a shopping hotspot too, with major retailers opening stores close to casinos and restaurants.
This includes US lingerie heavyweight Victoria’s Secret, who bowed its assortment retail store in Macau this month.
(Source: Vinny Halo)