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RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Retail sales fall 6.7% to $35.2b in June

Sales will likely be subdued due to the weak economic outlook and ongoing demonstrations.

Hong Kong’s retail sales dropped for the fifth consecutive month by 6.7% YoY, according to the Census and Statistics Department. For the first half of the year, retail sales fell by 2.6% YoY compared from last year.

Meanwhile, a revised estimate noted that the total value of retail sales in May fell by 1.4% YoY, down from C&SD’s earlier estimates of a 1.3% YoY decrease.

Also read: Retail sales down 1.3% to $40b in May

If netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, C&SD provisionally estimated that the volume of total retail sales decreased by 7.6% YoY in June; whilst the revised estimate of the volume of total retail sales in May 2019 recorded a 1.8% YoY fall. Overall, total retail sales for the first half of the year slipped by 3.1% YoY in volume compared to the previous year.

Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the estimated value of total retail sales dipped by 2.7% in the second quarter compared with the preceding quarter, whilst the estimated volume of total retail sales recorded a 2.8% YoY decline.

A government spokesperson said that the sales decline was due to cautious local consumer sentiment. The weakened global and local economic outlook as well as the recent mass demonstrations, if continued, are also expected to dent the retail business further.

Also read: Hong Kong retail sales to dip 5% in 2019: PwC

Amongst industries, sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts were hardest hit, with a 17.1% YoY decrease. Sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods not classified elsewhere also fell by 16.1% YoY, followed by optical shops’ sales with an 11.9% YoY decline. The sales of medicines and cosmetics fell 4.1% YoY; wearing apparel (-8.2%); commodities in department stores (-6.0%); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-1.3%); motor vehicles and parts (-9.1%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-1.4%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-4.5%); and Chinese drugs and herbs (-0.1%).

On the other hand, the sales of fuels, commodities in supermarkets, furniture and fixtures, and other consumer goods not elsewhere classified increased by 1.9%, 1.6%, 1.9%, and 0.3%, respectively.
 

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