© Reuters. PHOTOGRAPHY: People wearing protective masks walk inside the International Finance Center (IFC) mall after a coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, China, September 14, 2020. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Retail sales in Hong Kong rose in November as spending sentiment remained positive amid the economic recovery and the government’s digital retail voucher program to boost spending.
Retail sales rose 7.1% in November from a year earlier to HK $ 30.7 billion ($ 3.94 billion), government data showed on Monday. This is compared to the revised increase of 12.1% in October.
“Provided the local epidemic situation remains under control, improved economic and labor market conditions should continue to support the retail sector,” a government spokesman said.
In terms of volume, retail sales rose 4.2% in November from a year earlier, up from 9.4% a month earlier.
In the first eleven months of 2021, total retail sales increased by 8.3% in value and by 6.8% in volume.
Online retail sales in November jumped 27.6% in value compared to a year earlier compared to a revised growth of 33.9% in October.
Sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts, which relied heavily on mainland tourists before the pandemic, rose 14.4 percent in November from 23.1 percent in October, the data show.
Clothing, footwear and related products rose 16.6% in November from a 10.9% jump in October.
Tourist arrivals in November increased by 59.2% compared to the previous year to 9,492. This is compared to an increase of 19.6% in October. However, the total number of visitor arrivals from January to November fell by 97.7% compared to the previous year to 81,950.
The city’s economy grew 5.4% in the third quarter from a year earlier, recovering from a pandemic-related decline, but the long-term outlook depends on the impact of government policy zero COVID-19.
In November, the government revised its year-on-year forecast for economic growth to 6.4%, close to the upper limit of the previous forecast range of 5.5% -6.5%.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.1% in the September-November quarter from 4.3% between August and October as the labor market improved amid a continued economic recovery.
(1 dollar = 7.7983 Hong Kong dollars)
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