Retail in Asia

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Hong Kong retail sales growth continues to lift on steady tourism uptick

Hong Kong retail sales growth gained 1.9 percent in February, boosted by a steady return of tourists and overall consumption during the month.

SEE ALSO: Hong Kong retail sales growth slows in January as tourism numbers drop

Sales in February rose 1.9 percent to HKD 33.8 billion (USD 4.32 billion), the Hong Kong government said. February was the 15 consecutive month of retail sales growth for the financial hub city, following 0.9 percent growth in January, a 7.8 percent rise in December, and a 15.9 percent surge in November.

By category, sales of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts fell 3.6 percent in February on year after 22.8 percent growth in January, data showed. Sales of clothing, footwear and accessories grew 12.3 percent in February after an increase of 2.7 percent in January.

In terms of volume, retail sales increased 0.5 percent in February, compared with a 1.2 percent dip in January. Retail volume grew 4.8 percent in December, and was up 12.4 percent in November.

February visitor arrivals to Hong Kong rose to 4 million, data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board showed, compared with 3.83 million in January and 1.46 million in February 2023.

The number of mainland Chinese visitors rose to 3.25 million in February from January’s 2.98 million, December’s 2.94 million and 1.11 million in February 2023.

“As handling capacity continues to recover and more mega events are staged, inbound tourism is expected to revive further and benefit the retail sector,” a government spokesman said.

Looking ahead, the government is rolling out more than HKD 1 billion in support measures for its sluggish tourism industry. The luxury shopping city will also stage more than 80 event in the first half of the year to lure more visitors, including a monthly fireworks and drone show at its panoramic Victoria Harbour.

Earlier this year, fashion house Dior postponed its menswear show in Hong Kong, which was slated to take place on March 23; a major blow to the city which is looking to boost its economy through major events.