February retail sales 30% far better than expected

The retail sales in Hong Kong rose for 12 consecutive months. In February, the value of total retail sales rose by 29.8% year-on-year, exceeding market expectations by 7.9%, while the previous increase of over 29% was already July 2011. However, some economists have expressed reservations about whether the performance of the retail industry can be stabilized.

The Census and Statistics Department announced yesterday that the estimated value of total retail sales in February was estimated at RMB 45.2 billion, up 29.8% year-on-year; after deducting price changes during the period, total retail sales in February rose by 28.2%. Compared with the same period of last year, the interim estimate of total retail sales value in the first two months of 2018 increased by 15.7%, and the volume of sales volume was estimated to have risen by 13.9%.

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By category, total sales in the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year, electrical and other unclassified consumer durables rose by 27.9%; the value of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts increased by 21%; clothing, footwear and The related products rose by 19.3%.

According to Yang Yuxi, chief economist of ANZ Greater China, the increase in retail sales of nearly 30% “exaggerated” is believed to be affected by the base effect, but believes that this year’s temporary overall retail performance is much better than last year. As for future trends, he said that due to the impact of new sales channels and the continuing influence of overseas travel, there is no obvious stimulus, so there is reservation about whether the performance of the retail industry can be stabilized.

Zhou Shengsheng (00116) Liu Kebin, General Manager of Greater China Operations, said that during the Lunar New Year visits to the Mainland, more visitors than expected were expected. Due to the buoyancy of stocks in the Mainland, visitors to Hong Kong are also spending their time in Hong Kong. He said that the average unit price in the fourth quarter of last year was more than 9,000 yuan, while the average unit price of Christmas and the Lunar New Year holiday last year was more than 10,000 yuan.

Huang Junying, deputy general manager of Japan’s fashion chain Collect Point, said that there has been a noticeable increase in consumer activity in the tourist areas and shopping malls of the Mainland, and he noted that the number of passengers paying with UnionPay has increased.

A government spokesman said that thanks to the good employment and income conditions and the further growth in the number of visitors to Hong Kong, retail sales have improved significantly in the first two months of this year.