Hong Kong retail sales surged 12.1 per cent in April, a lesser rate than March’s 20.2 per cent, but largely reflecting a low comparative base.
Sales continue to fall well short of pre-pandemic levels, due to the border with mainland China being closed to tourists.
Sales for the first four months of the year are running 8.5 per cent ahead of the same period last year.
Commenting on the data, a government spokesperson said that as inbound tourism would likely take time to recover as the Covid-19 pandemic evolves, the near-term outlook for the retail trade remains challenging.
“It is essential for the community to actively participate in the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme so as to create favourable conditions for a more visible revival of the retail trade and other consumer-facing activities.”
Online sales to local merchants accounted for 6.8 per cent of overall retail sales, a figure 27.2 per cent higher than during April last year.
During the first four months of this year, The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) provisionally estimates the value of online retail sales increased by 53.1 per cent year on year.
Leading categories in Hong Kong retail sales during April included jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts which rose by 93.2 per cent, apparel up by 64.7 per cent, footwear and accessories up by 36 per cent and eyewear by 34.6 per cent.
The worst-performing category was department stores, where sales fell by 22.2 per cent.