Retail Sales in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Retail Sales | Economic News & Forecasts

Hong Kong - Retail Sales

Retail sales continue to contract in March as economic momentum stalls

Retail sales by volume fell 0.8% year-on-year in March, up from the 1.9% decline registered in the Lunar New Year period of January-February. The print was driven by a sharp contraction in sales of consumer durable goods, slightly lower supermarket sales, and a modest decline in sales of luxury goods, and clothing and footwear.

On a seasonally-adjusted, three-month-moving-average basis, retail sales volume in the January–March period rose 0.2% from the preceding three-month period ending in December, contrasting the 1.2% fall recorded in the December–February period. Overall, the annual average variation in retail sales volume fell from a revised 5.0% in the 12 months up to February (previously reported: +5.1%) to 4.1% in the period ending in March.

Turning to the short-term prospects, the softer private spending observed in the first quarter of 2019 should continue to be weighed in Q2 by the persistent drag of the trade spat between China and the United States, and an ongoing slowdown in the mainland. On the other hand, recent stimulus measures in China appear to have started feeding through to the economy, which could cushion the country’s deceleration, while also providing some support to private consumption dynamics in Hong Kong.

Commenting on the outlook, a government spokesperson further noted that “retail sales business should continue to be affected by various external uncertainties in the near term, but the largely stable labour market and the sustained growth in inbound tourism should provide some support”. Nevertheless, the evolution of U.S.-China trade talks in coming weeks will be a crucial factor affecting economic momentum.

Met the why particular Consensus Forecast panelists expect retail sales to increase 1.6% in 2019, which is down 0.8 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2019, the panel sees retail sales growing 3.5%.

Hong Kong - Retail Sales Data

2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)11.1  -0.2  -1.5  -7.1  1.9  

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Hong Kong Retail Sales Chart

Hong Kong Retail
Note: Annual variation of retail sales in %.
Source: Census and Statistics Department Hong Kong and Met the why particular calculations.

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