Saturday, October 23, 2021

Hong Kong retail sales rise for 7th month, consumption vouchers to support sentiment

Hong Kong-Hong Kong retail sales climbed for the seventh straight month in August, helped by a stable COVID-19 situation, an improved labor market and boost from economic recovery and a consumption voucher scheme (CVS).

Retail sales in August rose 11.9 percent from a year earlier to $28.6 billion ($3.67 billion), government data showed on Thursday. August’s growth compared to a revised 2.8 percent increase in July.

“CVS should continue to bode well for local consumption sentiment for the rest of the year,” a government spokesperson said, referring to electronic vouchers given to some consumers to spend in stores.

In volume terms, retail sales in August grew 10.6 per cent over a year ago, compared to a 0.7 per cent increase in the previous month.

For the first eight months of 2021, total retail sales grew 8.1 percent in value terms and 6.8 percent in volume.

Online retail sales in August grew 16.5 percent year-on-year compared to a revised growth of 28.8 percent in July.

Data showed sales of jewellery, watches, watches and valuable gifts, which before the pandemic relied heavily on mainland tourists, climbed 28 percent in August, compared to a revised 26.3 percent increase in July.

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Clothing, footwear and allied products grew 40.1 per cent in August, as against a revised 30.9 per cent growth in July.

Tourist arrivals in August increased by 143 per cent to 10,811 from a year earlier, after three consecutive months of decline. Whereas in July it had fallen by 57.9 per cent.

“Keeping the pandemic under control is critical to the full recovery of the retail sector and the overall economy,” the spokesperson said, adding that efforts towards more widespread coronavirus vaccination were necessary.

The city’s economy grew 7.6 per cent in the second quarter from a COVID-induced slowdown a year ago and the government upgraded its growth forecast for 2021 to 5.5 per cent-6.5 per cent from 3.5 per cent-5.5 per cent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 4.7 percent in the June-August quarter, the lowest since the January-March period in 2020.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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