, Hong Kong

Retail sales value up by 4.1% in January

The growth, however, was lower than the December 2021 record of 6.1%.

The value of retail sales for January jumped by 4.1% year-on-year (YoY) to $33.9b, data from Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) showed.

Of the total retail sales value, 9% or $3.1b was contributed by online sales. When compared to January 2021, the amount contributed by online sales rose 29.8%.

Increases were also recorded across retail outlet types led by other consumers goods which saw a 12.5% increase in its value and followed by commodities in supermarkets whose value rose by 10.5%.

Other retail outlets which saw increases in value were food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+6.5%); jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+7.1%); wearing apparel (+5.6%); commodities in department stores (+2.5%); medicines and cosmetics (+1.7%); fuels (+16.9%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+11.4%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+5.4%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+2.6%); and optical shops (+9.6%).

The value of sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified; motor vehicles and parts; and furniture and fixtures, on the other hand, dropped by 8.2% YoY, 20.5% YoY, and 3.8% YoY, respectively.

While the latest data show improvement, C&SD said the January figures has “yet to fully reflect the impact of the fifth wave of the local epidemic and the further tightening of anti-epidemic measures in the more recent period.”

“Also considering the possible distortion to the above figure caused by the different timing of the Lunar New Year compared to last year, it would be more meaningful to examine the figures for January and February combined, when available, to assess the latest retail sales performance,” the department added.

Looking ahead, a government spokesman said the retail sectors will remain “under immense pressure in the near term” due to a very “austere epidemic situation and the various restrictive measures in place.”

“It is essential for the community to work in unison to support the Government to put the local epidemic under control as swiftly as possible, to create conditions for the revival of retail business and other hard-hit economic activities,” the spokesperson added.

Related: Here's why 2022 is going to be a 'slightly' worse year for retail in HK

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