Hong Kong's retail sales grow for first time since 2014

Updated 2018-02-02 14:13:00 Xinhua

Hong Kong's value of total retail sales in 2017 rose 2.2 percent from a year earlier to 446.1 billion HK dollars (57.19 billion U.S. dollars), the first growth since 2014.

In December, the value of total retail sales expanded 5.8 percent year-on-year to 44.8 billion HK dollars.

The value of total retail sales climbed 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 over the preceding quarter.

Analyzed by categories in descending order of the value of sales, jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts rose 5.2 percent in 2017 from a year earlier. This was followed by sales of wearing apparel which went up 0.6 percent in value, commodities in department stores climbed 3.4 percent, and medicines and cosmetics expanded 5.5 percent.

On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets dropped 0.2 percent in 2017 compared with 2016. This was followed by sales of electrical goods and photographic equipment, which went down 9 percent, and miscellaneous consumer durable goods, which shrank 1.8 percent.

A government spokesman said retail sales increased solidly in December 2017 over a year earlier, reflecting the upbeat consumption sentiment amid favorable employment and income conditions.

The continued revival of inbound tourism also helped boost the figure, he said.

The retail sales coincided with upbeat tourist arrivals, which climbed 3.2 percent from a year earlier, the first yearly growth since 2015.

The near-term outlook for the retail trade is positive, given the more sanguine economic situation and improving inbound tourism, the government spokesman said.

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