The faster increase in visitor arrivals boosted purchases.
Retail sales in Hong Kong picked up pace after rising 5.9% to $39.7b in October following a dismal 2.4% growth in the previous month, according to the Census & Statistics department.
“[R]etail sales picked up somewhat in October after a deceleration in the preceding month, supported by the faster increase in visitor arrivals and continued income growth,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.
The latest reading, however, marks the fourth consecutive month of single-digit expansion after a heated double-digit growth rally which can be traced back to February.
The sales value of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts noticeably booked a slower pace of growth at 3.3% with medicines and cosmetics; motor vehicles and parts; electrical goods and other consumer durable goods picking up the slack after increasing by 14.9%, 13.6% and 16.1% respectively.
The sales of footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories; books, newspapers, stationery and gifts; optical shops and commodities in department stores also rose by 9.3%, 5.8%, 3.2% and 3.5% respectively.
Although strong inbound tourism levels are expected to continue supporting Hong Kong’s retail sector, external uncertainties and weaker asset markets could bruise consumer sentiment, the spokesperson added. The weakening yuan could also pose a risk to Mainland spending by dampening the attractiveness of Hong Kong goods.
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