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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The value of total retail sales in August, provisionally estimated at $25.6 billion, fell 13.1% compared with the same month in 2019, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.

After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales dropped 13.4% year-on-year.

The value of sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco decreased 15.7%.

This was followed by sales of commodities in department stores (-9.2% in value), jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (-37.8%), wearing apparel (-29.6%), medicines and cosmetics (-39.8%), fuels (-4.2%), books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-36.3%), footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-42.9%), Chinese drugs and herbs (-24.9%), and optical shops (-35.2%).

On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets rose 10.8%. This was followed by sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (+10.1% in value), other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+5.9%), motor vehicles and parts (+4.2%), and furniture and fixtures (+8.0%).

The Government said retail sales remained weak in August amid the third wave of the local epidemic.

It added that while the year-on-year decline narrowed visibly, it was mainly attributable to a very low base of comparison.

Looking ahead, as economic conditions remain under pressure and inbound tourism is unlikely to show any swift recovery in the near term, the business environment of the retail trade will remain difficult.

Local consumption sentiment may further improve if the recent stabilisation of the local epidemic situation sustains, the Government said.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News