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



Provisional statistics of retail sales for July 2020

 



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Melissa Ng in New York City: (212) 752 3320
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September 1, 2020 - The value of total retail sales in July 2020, provisionally estimated at HK$26.5 billion (US$3.3 billion), decreased by 23.1% compared with the same month in 2019. The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in June 2020 decreased by 24.7% compared with a year earlier. For the first seven months of 2020 taken together, it was provisionally estimated that the value of total retail sales decreased by 32.1% compared with the same period in 2019.

After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales in July 2020 decreased by 23.9% compared with a year earlier. The revised estimate of the volume of total retail sales in June 2020 decreased by 25.3% compared with a year earlier. For the first seven months of 2020 taken together, the provisional estimate of the total retail sales decreased by 33.5% in volume compared with the same period in 2019.

Analyzed by broad type of retail outlet in descending order of the provisional estimate of the value of sales and comparing July 2020 with July 2019, the value of sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco decreased by 12.9%. This was followed by sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (-7.2% in value); jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (-53.7%); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (-5.6%); commodities in department stores (-28.8%); wearing apparel (-42.5%); medicines and cosmetics (-50.9%); motor vehicles and parts (-13.1%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-41.0%); Chinese drugs and herbs (-26.5%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-53.6%); and optical shops (-37.0%).

The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets increased by 26.5% in July 2020 over a year earlier. This was followed by sales of fuels (+3.8% in value); and furniture and fixtures (+0.3%).

A government spokesman said that the year-on-year decline in retail sales remained notable in July despite a lower base of comparison, as the surge of local COVID-19 cases and the resultant tightening of social distancing measures in that month further disrupted consumption activities.

The spokesman further pointed out that while the recent stabilization in the local epidemic situation may help improve consumption sentiment, the business environment of the retail trade will continue to be very difficult in the near term as inbound tourism remains at a standstill. The Government will monitor the developments closely.


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