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RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Hong Kong's retail sales value down 2.9%

Overall sales now at $42.4b.

The value of total retail sales in December, provisionally estimated at $42.4 billion, was down 2.9% on the same month last year, the Census & Statistics Department announced.

After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales decreased 2.8% year-on-year. The sales value of apparel fell 4.2%.

This was followed by commodities in department stores (-3.2%); electrical goods and photographic equipment (-25.2%); miscellaneous consumer durable goods (-23.9%); motor vehicles and parts (-13%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-0.5%); and books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-2.2%).

The sales value of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 2.3%, followed by commodities in supermarkets (+0.7%); food, alcohol and tobacco (+5%); medicines and cosmetics (+4.8%); other consumer goods (+2.2%); fuels (+3.6%); furniture and fixtures (+7.3%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+9.3%); and optical shops (+6.2%).

The department said the year-on-year rate of decrease in retail sales narrowed in December.

The improvement was caused by the revival in visitor arrivals in that month and stable labour market conditions.

The near-term outlook for retail sales will still hinge on the performance of inbound tourism as well as the extent to which local consumer sentiment will be affected by various external uncertainties, it added. 

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