RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Retail sales up 4.1% to $44.9b in January

Consumer sentiment rose despite difference in the timing of the Chinese New Year.

Despite the difference in timing of the Chinese New Year from last year’s celebration, total retail sales value rose 4.1% YoY to provisional estimate of $44.9b in January as local consumer sentiment still rode the pre-festival high, according to figures from the Census and Statistics Department.

The festival hit February 16 this year but fell on January 28 last year and the corresponding year-on-year comparison rate of change may be affected.

Motor vehicles and parts posted healthy growth figures after increasing 24.9% YoY followed by medicines and cosmetics which rose 12.1% YoY and jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gift sales at 10.4% YoY.

Household necessities like furnitures and fixtures and wearing apparels also rose 8.6% YoY and 3.3% YoY respectively.

On the other hand, the sales value of commodities in supermarkets decreased by 13.3% YoY followed by sales of commodities in department stores (-4.6% YoY) food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-5.4% YoY); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-9.8% YoY).

As retail sales opened the year on stable footing, a government spokesperson noted that favourable income and job conditions plus recovering inbound tourism levels is poised to prop up the retail sector in the near term.

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