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



Provisional statistics of retail sales for April 2020

 



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June 1, 2020 - 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 April 2020, provisionally estimated at HK$24.1 billion (US$3 billion), decreased by 36.1% compared with the same month in 2019. The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in March 2020 decreased by 42.1% compared with a year earlier. For the first four months of 2020 taken together, it was provisionally estimated that the value of total retail sales decreased by 35.3% 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 April 2020 decreased by 37.5% compared with a year earlier. The revised estimate of the volume of total retail sales in March 2020 decreased by 44.0% compared with a year earlier. For the first four months of 2020 taken together, the provisional estimate of the total retail sales decreased by 37.1% 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 April 2020 with April 2019, the value of sales of commodities in department stores decreased by 18.0%. This was followed by sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-14.0% in value); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (-28.6%); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (-21.7%); wearing apparel (-63.6%); medicines and cosmetics (-62.9%); jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (-76.6%); motor vehicles and parts (-19.2%); fuels (-14.1%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-39.9%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-55.6%); Chinese drugs and herbs (-35.3%); and optical shops (-43.2%).

The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets increased by 14.4% in April 2020 over a year earlier.  This was followed by sales of furniture and fixtures (+1.6% in value).

Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the provisional estimate of the value of total retail sales decreased by 25.2% in the three months ending April 2020 compared with the preceding three-month period, while the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales decreased by 26.2%.

A government spokesman said that the year-on-year decline in retail sales remained huge in April, though narrower than that in March, reflecting the still-severe disruptions of COVID‑19 and the necessary anti-epidemic measures to consumption- and tourism-related activities.

The spokesman further pointed out that while the epidemic has abated in Hong Kong, the business environment for retail trade remains challenging, as COVID-19 has brought inbound tourism to a standstill, and as austere labor market conditions and various uncertainties continue to weigh on consumption sentiment. The Government will monitor the developments closely.


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