Retail sales in Hong Kong jumped 4.1% in July as improving labor market conditions supported consumer spending, ending two consecutive months of decline.
However, the figure was also favorable due to lower than normal sales in July 2021.
Data from the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) showed that for the first seven months of the year, retail sales in Hong Kong fell 1.7% year-on-year. June saw a decline of 1.3 percent.
July also saw continued strength in online sales, which accounted for 7.9% of the total, down from June’s 8.6%. Year-to-date, online sales are up 21.8% compared to 2021.
A government spokesman said the implementation of Phase II of the territory’s consumer voucher program would help boost consumer demand over the coming months, but tighter financial conditions and the development of the local outbreak will also affect retail sales. “It is vital that the community works in unison with the government to bring the outbreak under control.”
By category, sales of jewelry and watches increased by 28.3% in July and sales of optical stores by 9.6%. Most other categories rose 4.5% or less.
However, department store sales fell 9.7%, books and stationery 9.2% and furniture and accessories 3.2%.