, Hong Kong

Hong Kong retail sales up 8.1% to $353b in 2021

The retail sales value, however, was 27.3% below the 2018 level.

Retail sales in Hong Kong in 2021 increased 8.1% year-on-year (YoY) in value, reaching $353b but is still below 2018 levels, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

In terms of volume, retail sales rose 6.5% in 2021 compared to the previous year. Online retail sales, meanwhile, rose 39% in value, reaching $28.6b, it said. 

A government spokesman said the total retail sales value was still 27.2% below the 2018 level before the recession when tourism was at a standstill.

The spokesman also said that “the latest wave of local epidemic and the tightened anti-epidemic measures have weighed on consumption sentiment and posed renewed pressures on the retail sector.”

Estimate values of sales of electrical goods and other consumer goods not elsewhere classified for 2021 increased by 19.1% YoY, whilst sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified rose by 20.6%.

Values of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuables jumped by 27.3%, wearing apparel grew by 22.6%, medicines and cosmetics increased by 3%, motor vehicles and parts rose by 13.7%, and fuels grew by 12.7%.

Sales value of furniture and fixtures was up by 5.3%, footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories by 14.2%, books, newspapers, stationery and gifts by 5.4%, Chinese drugs and herbs by 5%, and optical shops by 14.4%.

However, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets declined by 8.4% YoY in 2021, whilst sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco was down by 2.7%, and commodities in department stores by 3.3%.

Value of retail sales in December 2021, meanwhile, was estimated at $33.3b which is 6.2% higher compared to the same period in the previous year. Online sales accounted for 10.8% of the total retail sales during the month, estimated at $3.6b, increasing 3.4% YoY.

The spokesman said the increase in December was because of the continued economic recovery but the growth pace has moderated from the preceding month.

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