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Hong Kong Retail Sales Growth Slows Sharply In November

Hong Kong retail sales growth slowed far more-than-expected in November, figures from the Census and Statistics Department showed Thursday.

The retail sales volume grew 1.2 percent year-on-year, following a 5.3 percent increase in October. Economists had expected sales growth of 4.2 percent.

The retail sales value advanced 1.4 percent year-on-year in November after rising 6.0 percent in the previous month.

Growth in both retail sales value and volume was the weakest since June 2017.

The value of sales of commodities in department stores rose by 3.9 percent, and was followed by a 10.1 percent increase in sales of medicines and cosmetics. Meanwhile, the value of sales of jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts declined by 3.9 percent.

"The generally moderated growth in retail sales in recent months reflected more cautious consumption sentiment in the face of various external uncertainties such as the US-Mainland trade tensions and volatilities in the global financial markets", a government spokesman said.

"Looking forward, while the favorable local job and income conditions and continued expansion in inbound tourism should still provide some support to the retail sector in the near term, consumer sentiment could be affected by weaker asset prices and the external uncertainties."

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