ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Retail sales up slightly but disappoint heavily

The Lunar New Year did spike retail sales but not enough, according to some analysts.

Taking inflation into account, total retail sales volume rose 9.1% in January year-on-year, said the Census & Statistics Department. It provisionally estimated the rise in gross retail sales at HK$43.2 billion in January, up 14.9% over January 2010.

A Bloomberg News survey, however, said the net volume was well below the revised 23.5% improvement in December and the median estimate of seven economists of 24%.

Sales of jewelry and watches during the Lunar New Year holiday were “quite disappointing,” the Hong Kong Retail Management Association said.

The government, however, said the volume of sales of miscellaneous consumer durable goods increased by 89.4%, the largest among merchandise categories.

This was followed by sales of electrical goods and photographic equipment (+47.7% in volume); wearing apparel (+14.6%); commodities in supermarkets (+13.2%); commodities in department stores (+9.5%); jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+7.7%) and miscellaneous consumer goods (+6.9%).


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