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Hong Kong retail sales still sliding

Hong Kong retail sales continued to shrink last month with a 5.7 per cent year-on-year decline in sales, according to the MasterCard SpendingPulse Hong Kong Report.

The MasterCard data precedes the official government retail sales statistics which are due out tomorrow (May 31).

While the Labour Day Golden Week did boost spending, it was not enough to reverse the fortunes of Hong Kong, which has been hit by the lack of Chinese tourists and subdued local sentiment.

Clothing and jewellery sales continued to drop, while health and beauty as well as furniture sales had a soft recovery. The grocery sector continued to be positive, as it has been for three months, yet its growth rates cooled off significantly.

“Continuous slowdown in spending from mainland China, along with stubborn deflation, has led to the unrelenting depressed state of Hong Kong retail since the middle of 2014,” says MasterCard Advisors senior VP for market insights, Sarah Quinlan.

“Deflation has continued as retailers offer discounts in order to stimulate sales. We expect this contraction to continue as the macroeconomic factors that would increase consumer confidence and spur domestic spending have not yet turned positive.”

Analyzing local retail performance and spending, the macroeconomic report uses aggregated and anonymous transaction data, along with all other payment forms including cash, to offer insight into consumer spending trends.

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