Retailers expect lackluster sales to persist during the Lunar New Year holiday next month and remain pessimistic about the full-year outlook, the Hong Kong Retail Management Association said.
With no positive factors on the horizon, the industry expects the value of retail sales to drop by a single-digit rate this year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Tuesday, citing HKRMA chairman Thomson Cheng Wai-hung.
Retail sales fell 7.8 percent from a year ago to HK$38.08 billion in November, the ninth straight month of decline. Sale volume fell 6 percent.
The value of sales of items popular among mainland tourists such as jewelry and watches plunged 20.6 percent while that of cosmetics and drugs was down 7 percent.
Raymond Yeung, senior economist at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, said even domestic consumption in the city is going down as evidenced by the decline in the sales of household goods.
Analysts attribute falling retail sales to the slowdown in the Chinese economy, the volatile stock market and the return of the tightening cycle in the US fed fund rate.
Government spokesmen blamed the poor performance of retail sales in November on the downward trend in the city’s tourism industry.
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