Hong Kong's retail sales slacken in May

Finance | Staff reporter 1 Jul 2021

Hong Kong retail sales grew at a slower pace in May, rising 10.5 percent from a year ago, as the retail sector is still struggling due to the lack of visitor spending.

In April, there was a 12.1 percent growth, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

Retail sales in May are estimated at HK$29.6 billion, which is 26 percent lower than sales in May 2019 before the onset of the pandemic.

For the first five months this year, it was provisionally estimated that the value of total retail sales rose by 8.9 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, the total assets of the Exchange Fund increased by HK$8.9 billion to HK$4.55 trillion as of 31 May 2021, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Hong Kong dollar assets increased by HK$4.6 billion and foreign currency assets increased by HK$4.3 billion.

Separately, the number of mortgage applications in May decreased month-on-month by 4 percent to 15,904, HKMA said. And compared to April, mortgage loans approved in May increased by 11.6 percent to HK$56.7 billion.

In other news, the SAR government recorded a deficit of HK$20.77 billion from April to May. The fiscal reserves stood at HK$907 billion as of May 31.

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