Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong
News Release



Provisional statistics of retail sales for August 2019

 



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October 2, 2019 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released the latest figures on retail sales today.

The value of total retail sales in August 2019, provisionally estimated at HK$29.4 billion (US$3.7 billion), decreased by 23.0% compared with the same month in 2018. The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in July 2019 decreased by 11.5% compared with a year earlier. For the first eight months of 2019 taken together, it was provisionally estimated that the value of total retail sales decreased by 6.0% compared with the same period in 2018.

After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales in August 2019 decreased by 25.3% compared with a year earlier. The revised estimate of the volume of total retail sales in July 2019 decreased by 13.1% compared with a year earlier. For the first eight months of 2019 taken together, the provisional estimate of the total retail sales decreased by 6.9% in volume compared with the same period in 2018.

A government spokesman said that retail sales showed further sharp deterioration in August and registered the steepest year-on-year decline for a single month on record, even worse than that recorded in September 1998 during the Asian Financial Crisis. Apart from the weak consumer sentiment amid subdued economic conditions, the plunge in August mainly reflected the severe disruptions to inbound tourism and consumption-related activities caused by the local social incidents.

The spokesman further pointed out that retail sales will likely remain in the doldrums in the near term, as the worsened economic outlook and local protests involving violence continue to weigh on consumer sentiment and inbound tourism. The Government will closely monitor the situation and the implications for the labor market and the economy.


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