People wearing face masks walk past a Chow Tai Fook store on Russell Street in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, July 29, 2020. (WU XIAOCHU / XINHUA)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong's retail sales continued to increase in April thanks to an abating COVID-19 pandemic.
The value of total retail sales in April was provisionally estimated at HK$27 billion (US$3.48 billion), up 12.1 percent from a year ago, the Census and Statistics Department said Tuesday in a report.
In the first four months combined, Hong Kong's retail sales value went up 8.5 percent year-on-year
In the first four months combined, the retail sales value went up 8.5 percent year-on-year.
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A government spokesperson attributed the continued growth in retail sales value in April to a low base of comparison in 2020, and said the retail sales volume was still far below the pre-pandemic level.
In April, sales of jewelry and valuable gifts surged 93.2 percent from a year earlier, and sales of wearing apparel jumped 64.7 percent. Sales of footwear and other clothing accessories gained 36 percent.
Looking ahead, the spokesperson said the near-term outlook for the retail trade is still challenging as inbound tourism still takes time to recover.
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It is essential for the community to actively get the COVID-19 vaccine to create favorable conditions for a more visible revival of the retail trade and other consumer-facing activities, said the spokesperson.