The value of Hong Kong’s retail sales in March, provisionally estimated at HKD 23.8 billion (USD 3 billion), decreased 13.8 percent compared with the same month in 2021, the Census & Statistics Department announced on 5th May.
After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month dropped 16.8 percent year-on-year.
Of the total retail sales value in March, online sales accounted for 11.7 percent. Provisionally estimated at HKD 2.8 billion (USD 356 million), the value of online retail sales rose 30.9 percent compared with a year ago.
The value of sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified, decreased 1.9 percent.
This was followed by sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (-4.5 percent in value); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-3.3 percent); commodities in department stores (-16.9 percent); jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (-36.8 percent); medicines and cosmetics (-7 percent); wearing apparel (-39.4 percent); motor vehicles and parts (-15 percent); fuels (-15.7 percent); furniture and fixtures (-23.7 percent); Chinese drugs and herbs (-9.2 percent); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-17.7 percent); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-55.4 percent); and optical shops (-42.8 percent).
On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets increased 2.6 percent for the period.
The Government said the value of retail sales fell sharply further in March over a year earlier as the fifth wave of the local COVID-19 epidemic and the social distancing measures continued to constrain people flow and dampen consumption sentiment.
Looking ahead, the Government pointed out that the improved local epidemic situation, of the relaxation of the social distancing measures, along with the disbursement of the first batch of electronic consumption vouchers in early April, will render support to the retail sector.