, Hong Kong

Retail sales growth slows down in July

Sales rose 2.9% during the month, a drop compared to 5.8% in June.

The total retail sales climbed by 2.9% year-on-year to $27.2b in July, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) reported.

This comes after a 5.8% increase recorded in June. For the first seven months of the year, the total value of retail sales grew by 7.6% compared to the same period in 2020.

“Retail sales continued to increase in July over a year earlier as the local epidemic remained stable and labour market situations improved further, although the growth pace moderated somewhat as compared to the preceding month,” a government spokesman said.

Of the total sales, online sales accounted for 7.5% with a value of $2.1b. This is higher by 29% when compared to July 2020. For the first seven months, online retail sales increased by 50.6%.

Netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales increased by 0.9% compared with July 2020. To date, the provisional estimate of the total retail sales increased by 6.2% in volume.

“The electronic consumption vouchers that the government began to disburse in August have helped stimulate consumption sentiment and will render support to the retail business in the rest of the year,” the spokesman also said.

“Yet, it is essential for the community to keep the epidemic under control and strive towards more widespread vaccination, so as to strengthen the foundation for the continued recovery of the retail sector and the overall economy.”

Moreover, C&SD reported the value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased by 27.1%.

This was followed by sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+15.8% in value); wearing apparel (+30.7%); medicines and cosmetics (+0.5%); motor vehicles and parts (+25.0%); fuels (+12.8%); furniture and fixtures (+0.6%); books, newspapers, stationery, and gifts (+9.8%); footwear, allied products, and other clothing accessories (+30.5%); and optical shops (+8.9%).

Meanwhile, the sales of commodities in supermarkets (-19.4%), commodities in department stores (-9.6% in value); food, alcoholic drinks, and tobacco (-5.7%); and electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (-2.5%) amongst others declined.

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