, Hong Kong
Image by Hannah Alkadi from Pixabay

Retail sales value plummets 14.7% in April amidst the Easter holidays

Only one retail outlet type recorded an increase in sales.

The total retail sales value hit $29.6b in April 2024, a drop of 14.7% from the same month in 2023.   

Of the total sales value, 8.2% or $2.4b was from online sales. Compared to April 2023, the online retail sales value rose 11.4%.   

Amongst retail outlets, "jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts" recorded the steepest decline, with sales falling 28.7% YoY.   

Other retail outlet types which recorded value decreases include commodities in supermarkets (-3%); other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (-13.2%); wearing apparel (-23.6%); medicines and cosmetics (-7.1%); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-12.2%); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods not elsewhere classified (-26.5%); commodities in department stores (-21.5%); fuels (-9.6%); furniture and fixtures (-23%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-26.3%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-4.5%); Chinese drugs and herbs (-25.1%); and optical shops (-23.1%).

On the other hand, the value of sales of motor vehicles and parts rose 58.5% YoY.

The Census & Statistics Department (C&SD), citing a government spokesperson, said the decline in retail sales was because "the Easter holidays rendered the effects of the changing consumption pattern of residents more visible.”

C&SD stated that many residents travelled during the Easter holidays, impacting local consumption.

“Apart from that, the unstable weather conditions in April this year with higher-than-usual rainfall, also had some impact. Furthermore, the relatively high base of comparison, attributable to buoyant consumer sentiment supported by the return to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic and the Consumption Voucher Scheme, was also relevant,” C&SD said.

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