Hong Kong’s retail sales have gone up slightly in October due to the improved labour market conditions and the disbursement of a new batch of Consumption Voucher Scheme.
According to the latest figures released by the Census and Statistics Department, the value of total retail sales in October 2022, provisionally estimated at $31.9 billion, increased by 3.9% compared with the same month in 2021. Online sales accounted for 10.7% out of the total retail sales value in October 2022. The value of online retail sales in the month provisionally estimated at $3.4 billion, which increased by 34.7% compared with the same month in 2021.
The revised estimate of online retail sales in September 2022 increased by 26.8% compared with a year earlier. For the first 10 months of 2022 taken together, it was provisionally estimated that the value of online retail sales increased by 23.8% compared with the same period in 2021.
After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales in October 2022 increased by 2.4% compared with a year earlier. The revised estimate of the volume of total retail sales in September 2022 decreased by 1.4% compared with a year earlier. For the first 10 months of 2022 taken together, the provisional estimate of the total retail sales decreased by 3.5% in volume compared with the same period in 2021.
Analysed by broad type of retail outlet in descending order of the provisional estimate of the value of sales and comparing October 2022 with October 2021, the value of sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods not elsewhere classified increased by 11.4%. This was followed by sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+13.6% in value); other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (+2.2%); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+2.1%); medicines and cosmetics (+5.9%); motor vehicles and parts (+57.6%); fuels (+5.3%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+36.3%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+8.3%); and optical shops (+3.8%).
A government spokesman said that the value of retail sales recorded an accelerated year-on-year increase in October alongside the disbursement of a new batch of consumption vouchers. Business of many types of retail outlet saw improvement, with sales of consumer durable goods, and jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts registering double-digit increases.
Looking ahead, the spokesman pointed out that improved labour market conditions and the Consumption Voucher Scheme will continue to provide support to the retail sector, though tightened financial conditions will partly offset the effects. Moreover, as long as the local epidemic situation remains under control and the various restrictive measures can be relaxed in an orderly manner, consumption-related activities should gradually regain momentum. It remains vital for the community to work together with the Government to contain the epidemic.
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