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Hong Kong March Retail Sales Growth Tops Expectations

Hong Kong retail sales growth for March came in above economists' expectations, data released by the Census and Statistics Department showed Thursday.

The total retail sales value increased 17.3 percent year-on-year, following a 15.6 percent gain in February. Economists had forecast sales growth of 14 percent.

The volume of retail sales rose 13.4 percent annually, after increasing 10.1 percent in the previous month. Economists were looking for 8.9 percent growth.

Sales growth in March mirrored the buoyant tourist spending and local consumer sentiment, a government spokesman said. Going forward, the favorable labor market conditions and the prevailing strength of inbound tourism is expected to continue to render support to the retail business in the near term.

In the first quarter, retail sales grew 15.9 percent in value and 10.7 percent in volume over the same period last year. Retail sales volume declined 0.9 percent from the previous quarter.

by RTT Staff Writer

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