Retail sales up 12pc but miss estimates

Finance | Winnie Lee 2 Jun 2021

Hong Kong's retail sales rose 12.1 percent to HK$27 billion in April from a year ago, thanks to a lower base of comparison from a year earlier.

But April's data was worse than expected as the market had estimated a 17 percent rise, after increases over three consecutive months.

Retail sales were also at the lowest level since October last year and the pace of growth was 8.1 percentage points lower compared with March.

Sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts jumped 93.2 percent, while clothing apparel rose 64.7 percent. On the other hand, sales of commodities in supermarkets fell by 12.7 percent.

For the first four months of 2021, total retail sales rose 8.5 percent in value.

Excluding the effect of price changes over the same period, retail sales in April was up by 10.9 percent compared with a year earlier.

A government spokesman said retail sales were still far below pre-pandemic levels with inbound tourism still frozen and the near-term outlook remains challenging.

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