RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Retail sales up 3.1% to $35.7b in March

Sales value of jewellery increased 8.4%.

The value of total retail sales in March, provisionally estimated at $35.7 billion, rose 3.1% 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 2.7% year-on-year.

The sales value of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 8.4%.

This was followed by apparel (+2.5% in value); commodities in supermarkets (+2.6%); medicines and cosmetics (+3.5%); commodities in department stores (+0.1%); food, alcohol and tobacco (+2.9%); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+8.5%); miscellaneous consumer durable goods (+9.5%); motor vehicles and parts (+16%); fuels (+9.1%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+5%); and, Chinese drugs and herbs (+6.8%).

The sales value of electrical goods and photographic equipment fell 17.9%, followed by furniture and fixtures (-0.4% in value); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-4.5%); and, optical shops (-2%).

The department said the moderate year-on-year growth in retail sales in March reflected the recovery of visitor arrivals and the favourable local employment environment.

Looking ahead, retail sales business in the near-term will depend on the performance of inbound tourism and uncertainties in the external environment, it added.

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