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



Provisional statistics of retail sales for September 2020

 



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November 2, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released the latest figures on retail sales today (November 2).

The value of total retail sales in September 2020, provisionally estimated at HK$26.1 billion (US$3.3 billion), decreased by 12.9% compared with the same month in 2019. The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in August 2020 decreased by 13.1% compared with a year earlier. For the first nine months of 2020 taken together, it was provisionally estimated that the value of total retail sales decreased by 28.7% 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 September 2020 decreased by 13.4% compared with a year earlier. The revised estimate of the volume of total retail sales in August 2020 also decreased by 13.4% compared with a year earlier. For the first nine months of 2020 taken together, the provisional estimate of the total retail sales decreased by 30.0% 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 September 2020 with September 2019, the value of sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco decreased by 11.1%. This was followed by sales of jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (-25.7% in value); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (-38.7%); wearing apparel (-20.6%); medicines and cosmetics (-45.5%); fuels (-4.6%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-16.2%); Chinese drugs and herbs (-4.6%); and optical shops (-26.9%).

On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets increased by 3.8% in September 2020 over a year earlier. This was followed by sales of commodities in department stores (+5.5% in value); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+16.7%); motor vehicles and parts (+17.1%); furniture and fixtures (+8.4%); and books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+6.1%).

Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the provisional estimate of the value of total retail sales increased by 5.9% in the third quarter of 2020 compared with the preceding quarter, while the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales increased by 5.1%.

A government spokesman said that the year-on-year decline in retail sales remained notable in September. Nonetheless, having considered that the base of comparison in the month was not as low as in August, the performance of the retail sector had actually shown some improvement over August as the third wave of the local epidemic abated.

Looking ahead, the spokesman further pointed out that the business environment of the retail trade will remain challenging in the near term, as inbound tourism is unlikely to see a swift rebound and the labor market is still under pressure. However, with the stabilization of the local epidemic and the recent relaxation of social distancing measures, local consumption sentiment is likely to revive further. The Government will monitor the developments closely.


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