Dec 02, 2015

Hong Kong Retail Sales Down 3% in October; Jewellery & Watch Sales Down 17%

Retail sales across all categories in Hong Kong continued to slow down with the Census & Statistics Dept of the HK government reporting a 3% year-on-year decline in total sales by value during October. A commentary on the figures released by the Hong Kong Retail Management Association (HKRMA) notes that sales for the month are provisionally estimated at HK $37.17 billion. However, retail sales were marginally up by 1.2% in volume terms in October.

This is the eighth consecutive month when monthly sales have shows a year-on-year decline, according to the department. The government says that the figures reflect a weakening of inbound tourism.

While there was an improvement in nine categories that are largely related to local spending, the higher value items that are largely purchased by tourists showed major declines. According to reports, tourist arrivals fell by .2% during October.

For the first ten months of 2015 taken together, the value of total retail sales decreased by 2.7%, while it increased by 1.1% in terms of volume, the government statistics indicated.

The jewellery sector was the most badly hit – with retail outlets dealing in jewellery, watches & clocks, and valuable gifts reporting a 17% y-o-y drop in value and 11.4% drop in volume terms. This was the largest drop among all retail categories.

The Hong Kong Retail Manaement Association (HKRMA) says the picture may not change in December with most of its member companies expecting a drop in sales value during the 2015 Christmas holiday season.