Hong Kong retail sales rose for the eighth month running as the government’s voucher scheme continued to encourage consumer spending.
According to the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the value of retail sales in September increased by 7.3 per cent year on year, following the revised 11.9 per cent recorded in August.
For the first nine months of this year, Hong Kong retail sales are running 8 per cent ahead of last year.
Online shopping with local retailers in September accounted for an estimated 8 per cent of total retail sales.
Under the Consumption Voucher Scheme, from August about 5.5 million eligible Hong Kong residents were being issued with electronic vouchers to spend in retail stores in a bid to kick-start the retail sector. The first vouchers, valued at HKD2000 (US$257), were followed by further HKD2000 issued from October 1 and a final HKD1000 several weeks later.
Commenting on the territory’s September retail sales, a government spokesman said the stable local epidemic, improving employment and income conditions, and the voucher scheme should continue to support the retail sector in the near term.
“However, the virtually frozen inbound tourism will continue to constrain the extent of revival. To pave the way for a broader-based recovery of the retail sector and the overall economy, it is essential for the community to strive towards more widespread vaccination,” he said.
The most influential category in September was sales of electrical goods, up by 48.3 per cent, and of jewellery and watches up by 16.2 per cent.
Supermarket sales declined by 4.9 per cent, perhaps reflecting the return of dining in at restaurants and cafes.