Hong Kong retail sales see double-digit decline for second straight month

(Source: Bigstock)

Hong Kong retail sales fell 11.5 per cent year-on-year in May, marking the second month in a row of double-digit decrease.

The value of retail sales in May was provisionally estimated at HK$30.5 billion (US$3.9 billion), according to the Census and Statistics Department. The decline was slightly slower than the 14.7 per cent drop in April but higher than the 7 per cent reduction in March.

For the first five months of this year, retail sales slid 6.1 per cent compared with the same period last year.

A government spokesman attributed the notable decline to changes in the consumption patterns of visitors and residents, as well as the strength of the Hong Kong dollar.

A majority of retail sectors recorded year-on-year sales drop, led by motor vehicles and parts (down 29.8 per cent), watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (down 21.4 per cent), commodities in department stores (down 21.1 per cent), and wearing apparel (down 18.8 per cent).

Meanwhile, retailers of books, newspapers, stationery and gifts posted a 6.9 per cent sales growth, followed by medicines and cosmetics with a 2.5 per cent improvement.

Online sales was estimated at HK$2.6 billion, accounting for 8.7 per cent of total retail sales and up 21.9 per cent compared with the same month last year.

Although the challenges will remain in the near term, the spokesperson believed the recently announced measures, namely enhanced Individual Visit Scheme and the increase of duty-free allowance for Mainland resident visitors, would help stimulate retail businesses. 

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.