Friday, April 18, 2014   




Retailers wear bigger smiles than expected

Natallie Cai

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The value of local retail sales jumped 22.7 percent in February from a year earlier to HK$41.4 billion, beating the average market expectation for a 17.7-percent gain thanks to spending by tourists during the Lunar New Year and a stable job market.

That followed a 10.5-percent, year-on-year rise for January.

And the volume of retail sales in February was a gain of 21.9 percent after netting out the effect of price changes, the Census & Statistics Department reported yesterday.

Sales volumes of electrical goods and photographic equipment rose 20.4 percent while jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts jumped 17.8 percent.

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Miscellaneous consumer durable goods saw a 184.6-percent surge in sales volume in February from a year back.

Retail sales grew visibly in February even after removing distortions caused by the timing of the Lunar New Year, statisticians said. Additionally, combined retail sales for January and February rose 15.8 percent in value and 15.5 percent compared with last year.

Also in February, the number of visitors to Hong Kong climbed 19.3 percent from the same month in 2012, with mainland tourists jumping 36.4 percent to 3.1 million. But the hotel occupancy rate fell 4 percent to 84 percent.

Government expectations are for a stable labor market and vibrant inbound tourism to continue to support local retailers in the near term. But officials also warn of potential risks caused by adverse conditions in several external economies.


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