HONG KONG (Xinhua) – The value of total retail sales in December 2014 in Hong Kong fell 3.9 per cent to 47.8 billion HK dollars (about 6.2 billion US dollars) from a year ago, the city’s statistics department said here on Monday.
The sales of medicines and cosmetics rose 4.2 per cent year-on- year in December, followed by food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco 7.4 per cent, miscellaneous consumer durable goods 18.6 per cent and motor vehicles and parts 0.5 per cent.
On the other hand, the sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts decreased 16.3 per cent, followed by wearing apparel 3.8 per cent, commodities in department stores 5.3 per cent, electrical goods and photographic equipment 4.4 per cent and footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories 3.1 per cent.
For 2014 as a whole, the value of total retail sales went down 0.2 per cent to 493.3 billion HK dollars from a year earlier.
A government spokesman said retail sales reverted to a year-on-year decline in December 2014, dragged mainly by a wider fall in the sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts, possibly reflecting the slackening in visitor spending.
The spokesman said the sales performance of many other items, including those related more to local consumption, was also lacklustre and the fluctuations in retail sales in recent months suggest that consumption sentiment was still rather unsteady.
Looking ahead, the near-term performance of retail sales will still hinge on the labour market conditions and inbound tourism growth, the spokesman said.