RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Retail sales up 12.9% to $40.5b in May

The retail boost comes from strong tourist arrivals in recent months.

The value of total retail sales continue to gain momentum after rising 12.9% YoY to a provisional estimate of $40.5b in May amidst a sustained recovery in inbound tourism, according to the Census & Statistics Department.

Also read: Robust local consumption buoy retail capital values to 0.3% in Q1

“All-time high mainland tourists arrivals in the first four months of 2018, combined with a robust wealth effect and an improvement in consumer sentiment, along with new infrastructure initiatives, all contribute to a positive outlook for the local retail sector,” Michael Cheng, Asia Pacific and Hong Kong/China consumer markets leader at PwC said in an earlier report.

Also read: Retailers ramp up street shop leasing activity in April as sales recover

Sales of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts continued to lead the sector’s recovery after posting double digit growth at 23.8% followed by medicines and cosmetics at 18.7%.

Department stores and supermarkets also witnessed higher commodity sales at 16.7% and 2.8% respectively.

Sales for fuels, optical shops; and footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories also went up 17.5%, 13.9% and 11.9% respectively.

Hong Kong’s retail sector is zooming into full-fledged recovery with accounting firm PwC expecting sales to hit $484b in 2018 and $494b by 2020 following a protracted downturn that has seen big brands like Ralph Lauren closing up shop.

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