Hong Kong Retail Sales Growth Slows In March

Hong Kong's retail sales rose for the second straight month in March, figures from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Tuesday.

The retail sales volume rose 19.8 percent year-on-year in March, after a 31.6 percent growth in February.

The value of retail sales increased 20.1 percent annually in March, slower than a 30.0 percent gain in the preceding month.

Sales value of jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts surged 81.0 percent annually in March. Sales of clothing, footwear and allied products gained 75.5 percent and those of consumer durable grew 33.5 percent.

Prices for other consumer goods and fuels rose by 27.8 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, both the retail sales value and volume declined 2.2 percent each on a sequential basis in the first quarter.

In the first quarter, retail sales volume rose 7.2 percent yearly, spokesman said, a government spokesman said.

"Looking ahead, the spokesman pointed out that while local consumption sentiment saw some improvement following the gradual relaxation of social distancing measures since mid-February, the near-term outlook for the retail trade is still challenging as inbound tourism remains in the doldrums," spokesman said.

"To attain a stronger revival of the retail trade and a broader-based economic recovery, it is essential for the community to work together to keep the epidemic under control and to actively participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program," spokesman added.

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