Hong Kong retail sales remain stagnant
Sep 4, 2015
Falling spending by Mainland tourists and softened consumer sentiment saw lacklustre Hong Kong retail sales in July.
Data from the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) showed the total value of retail sales decreased 2.8 per cent year on year. After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales rose 1.9 per cent year on year.
Those figures compared with a decrease of 0.4 per cent in revised figures for June and a net increase (after adjusting for price changes) of 4.3 per cent.
Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the value of total retail sales decreased by 1.4 per cent in the three months ending July 2015 compared with the preceding three-month period, while the volume of total retail sales decreased by 0.9 per cent.
A government spokesman said retail sales growth in volume terms moderated in July, “partly dragged by the further slowdown in inbound tourism and partly also due to the impact of stock market correction on consumer sentiment”.
“The near-term performance of retail sales will continue to hinge on inbound tourism growth and on whether there would be any negative spillover from the increased stock market volatility of late. The government will monitor closely how the rapidly changing external environment may affect the retail business going forward,” he said.
The value of total retail sales in July was provisionally estimated at $37.6 billion.
For the first seven months of 2015 taken together, the value of total retail sales decreased by 1.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2014. After netting out the effect of price changes for the first seven months, sales increased by 1.7 per cent year on year.
Analysed by broad type of retail outlet (in descending order of value of sales and comparing July 2015 with July 2014), the value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts decreased by five per cent. This was followed by sales of wearing apparel (-13 per cent), commodities in department stores (-7.3 per cent), medicines and cosmetics (-5.4 per cent), other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (-8.1 per cent); motor vehicles and parts (-3.2 per cent), fuels (-9.6 per cent); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-7.9 per cent); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-6.4 per cent); furniture and fixtures (-8.5 per cent); Chinese drugs and herbs (-6.1 per cent) and optical shops (-5.9 per cent).
In contrast, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets increased by 0.4 per cent, of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+7.0 per cent), electrical goods and photographic equipment (+4.9 per cent) and miscellaneous consumer durable goods (+67 per cent).