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Retail sales drop 14.6% YoY in February 2022

The tightened measures against COVID-19 weakened consumption sentiment.

Retail sales value in Hong Kong declined by 14.6% year-on-year (YoY) in February, provisionally estimated at $25.2b due to weaker consumption sentiment as a result of the tightened measures against COVID-19, according to latest figures by the Census and Statistics Department

Online sales accounted for 10.8% of the total retail sales value in February, provisionally estimated at $2.7b, posting a 50% YoY jump.

Meanwhile, the provisional estimate of the volume of retail sales during the month slid by 17.6% YoY.

Revised estimate of the total retail sales value in January increased by 4% YoY, whilst for the first two months of the year, total retail sales dropped by 4.9% compared to 2021.

A government spokesman said the sales during the month declined sharply as “the rapid worsening of (the) local epidemic situation and further tightening of anti-epidemic measures in response led to a drastic fall in people flow and weaker consumption sentiment.”

The spokesman also said that the retail sector will continue to face “notable pressure in the near term,” whilst the local epidemic has shown signs of easing recently, adding that the upcoming disbursement of the new round of electronic consumptions in April would provide some support to the sector.

Value of sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco decreased by 2.5% comparing the combined sales for January and February 2022 to the same period in 2021. The value of sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (11.4%), jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (13.1%), commodities in department stores (8.9%), and wearing apparel (14.3%).

Sales value of motor vehicles and parts (23.1%), furniture and fixtures (13.7%), footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (21.5%), Chinese drugs and herbs (2.7%), books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (13.2%), and optical shops (15.6%) also slumped.

On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets (8.2%), other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (5.7%), medicines and cosmetics (5.0%), and fuels (0.6%) increased in the first two months of the year compared to the same period in 2021.

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