Hong Kong restaurant sales fall in fourth quarter
Hong Kong restaurant sales fell 14.3 per cent in the December quarter, provisionally estimated at HKD26 billion (US$3.35 billion).
Provisional figures released by The Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, also estimated that the value of purchases by restaurants during the quarter fell by 13 per cent to HKD8.4 billion ($1.08 billion).
A government spokesman said the figures marked the largest quarterly fall since the outbreak of Sars in the second quarter of 2003, as local social incidents with intensified violence during the quarter “caused severe disruptions to food and beverage businesses”.
For the full year, Hong Kong restaurant sales declined 5.9 per cent in value terms, marking the first annual decline since 2003. The value of total receipts of the restaurants sector was provisionally estimated at HKD112.5 billion ($14.5 billion).
The spokesman said the food-and-beverage sector has been facing an even more difficult business environment recently due to the threat of the novel coronavirus infection.
“The outlook down the road depends critically on how the situation of the novel coronavirus infection will evolve.”
Analysed by type of restaurant and comparing the whole of last year with 2018, Chinese restaurant sales decreased by 10 per cent in value and 12.1 per cent in volume. Receipts of non-Chinese restaurants fell by 6.4 per cent in value and 8.3 per cent in volume, while fast-food shops sales edged up 1.9 per cent in value and 0.1 per cent in volume.
Sales by bars decreased by 9 per cent in value and 10.7 per cent in volume, while ‘miscellaneous eating and drinking places’ saw sales up by 1.6 per cent in value, but down 1.7 per cent in volume.