Retail sales in Hong Kong jumped 4.1 per cent in July as improving labour market conditions supported consumer spending, ending two consecutive months of decline.
However, the figure was also favourable due to lower than normal sales in July 2021.
Data from the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) showed that for the first seven months of the year, retail sales in Hong Kong are down by 1.7 per cent year on year. June saw a fall of 1.3 per cent.
July also witnessed continuing strength in online sales, which accounted for 7.9 per cent of the total, slightly less than June’s 8.6 per cent. Year to date, online sales are up by 21.8 per cent over 2021.
A government spokesman said that the implementation of Phase II of the territory’s Consumption Voucher Scheme would help boost consumption demand during the coming months, however, tighter financial conditions and the development of the local epidemic will also have a bearing on retail sales. “It is vital for the community to work in unison with the government to bring the epidemic under control.”
By category, sales of jewellery and watches rose by 28.3 per cent in July, and sales by optical shops rose by 9.6 per cent. Most other categories rose by 4.5 per cent or less.
However, department store sales fell by 9.7 per cent, books and stationery by 9.2 per cent and furniture and fixtures by 3.2 per cent.