Hong Kong total retail sales grew 2.7% in August 2017 in value terms, hitting $34.8 billion, according to the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD).
The percentage growth was modest, however, compared to July 2017, which recorded revised growth of 4%, said the C&SD. In volume terms, retail sales in August 2017 increased by 3.2% over a year earlier, compared to July’s 4.5% gain.
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“Retail sales grew moderately year-over-year earlier in August 2017, supported mainly by the prevailing sanguine consumer sentiment amid a full-employment situation,” a government spokesman indicated.
By category, jewellery and watch sales recorded a 7.3% gain in sales; supermarket revenues were up 2.3%; department stores up 5.2%; medicines and cosmetics increased 2.3% and other consumer goods lifted 4.6%.
Electrical goods and photographic equipment increased 1.4%; motor vehicles and parts gained 7.2%; miscellaneous consumer durable goods rose 7.6%; books, newspapers, stationery and gifts inched forward 1.8%), and furniture and fixtures rose 3.5%, it said.
However, apparel sales decreased by 0.6% in August compared with a year earlier. Falls were also recorded across food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, down 3.9%; footwear and other clothing accessories fell 5.2% and optical shops witnessed a 0.1% decline.
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Taking a wider snapshot, the C&DS — for the first eight months of 2017 — said the value of total retail sales increased by 0.3% over the same period in 2016.
“The near-term outlook for retail sales should remain positive given the favourable job and income conditions and stabilisation of inbound tourism,” said an official.
“However, various external uncertainties continue to be a concern.”