RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Retail sales value up 4% to $36b in July

Sales value of jewellery also inched higher by 12.9%.

The value of total retail sales in July, provisionally estimated at $36 billion, rose 4% 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 increased 4.6% year-on-year.

The sales value of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 12.9%.

This was followed by apparel (+1.6%); medicines and cosmetics (+3.0%); commodities in department stores (+5.5%); food, alcohol and tobacco (+4.9%); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+8.0%); miscellaneous consumer durable goods (+4.8%); fuels (+2.4%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+1.5%); furniture and fixtures (+4.6%); and, Chinese drugs and herbs (+9.3%).

The sales value of electrical goods and photographic equipment decreased 6%, followed by footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-4.7% in value) and optical shops (-3.6%).

Meanwhile, the sales value of commodities in supermarkets as well as motor vehicles and parts remained unchanged.

The department said retail sales accelerated visibly in July, registering the fastest year-on-year growth since February 2015.

It added the pick-up was underpinned by robust local consumption demand and further improvement in inbound tourism.

Looking ahead, it said local consumer sentiment will remain sanguine under favourable job and income conditions, adding the near-term performance of retail sales will depend on the recovery pace of inbound tourism amid uncertainties in the external environment.

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