Hong Kong retail sales dipped for the month of August on an annual basis, with the return in tourist arrivals unable to boost retail sales in key categories, according to data released on September 30.
SEE ALSO: Vuori opens in China, Hong Kong and Singapore
In value terms, retail sales in August totalled HKD 28.6 billion (USD 3.64 billion), down 0.1 percent from a year ago, but up 0.9 percent from July’s HKD 28.3 billion when it rose 4.1 percent, according to the official data.
For the first eight months, the total retail sales value decreased 1.5 percent, compared with the same period last year, the data revealed.
In volume terms, retail sales in August fell 2.9 percent from a year earlier, compared with a revised 1.1 percent growth in July. For the first eight months of the year, retail sales volume decreased 4.5 percent from a year earlier.
By category, August’s sales of jewellery, watches, clocks, and valuable gifts rose 4.3 percent from a year earlier, following a revised 30.1 percent jump in July, the data showed.
Meanwhile, sales of clothing, footwear and allied products in August fell 8.4 percent year-on-year after a revised 2.4 percent rise in July.
By channel, online retail sales in August surged 21.3 percent year-on-year in value terms, compared with an 8.4 percent rise in July. That figure was up 21.7 percent for the first eight months of 2022, according to the data revealed.
The retail sales dip comes despite a surge in tourism numbers in Hong Kong during the month. Tourist arrivals in August skyrocketed 451.4 percent from a year earlier to 59,610. That compared with a 454.4 percent jump in July.
Since early 2020, Covid-19 restrictions have negatively affected the economy since, bringing tourism to a halt and slashing sales at bars, restaurants and shops.
SEE ALSO: Michael Jordan’s WatchBox debuts in China
Looking ahead, the return in tourism is hoped to spark retail sales growth across categories like jewellery, watches, clocks, and valuable gifts, which before the pandemic, relied heavily on tourists from the mainland.