A man walks past a food shop in Hong Kong on March 25, 2022.
(ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s retail sales plunged 13.8 percent in March, official data showed, as the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and virus restrictions continued to dampen consumption sentiment.
The value of total retail sales in March was provisionally estimated at HK$23.8 billion, the Census and Statistics Department said on Thursday.
Of the total retail sales value in March, online sales accounted for 11.7%. Provisionally estimated at HK$2.8 billion, the value of online retail sales rose 30.9% compared with a year ago
After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month dropped 16.8 percent year-on-year.
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Of the total retail sales value in March, online sales accounted for 11.7 percent. Provisionally estimated at HK$2.8 billion, the value of online retail sales rose 30.9 percent compared with a year ago.
Sales of footwear and other clothing accessories dropped by 55.4 percent year-on-year, while that of luxury items such as jewelry, watches and valuable gifts declined 36.7 percent.
On the other hand, sales of commodities in supermarkets increased 2.6 percent for the period.
In a statement, a government spokesman said the value of retail sales fell sharply further in March over a year earlier as the fifth wave of the local COVID-19 epidemic and the social distancing measures continued to constrain people flow and dampen consumption sentiment.
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Looking ahead, the improved local epidemic situation and the progressive relaxation of the social distancing measures, along with the disbursement of the first batch of electronic consumption vouchers in early April, will render support to the retail sector, the spokesman added.
“It is vital for the community to continue to work in unison with the government to further stabilize the local epidemic situation,” according to the spokesman.