Retail sales fell 3.7 percent in value last year, the biggest decline since the SARS outbreak in 2003, Hong Kong Retail Management Association chairman Thomson Cheng said.
Cheng also said the value of retail sales this year is forecast to fall by at least 3 percent, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Wednesday.
Last year’s figure was further dragged down by the abnormally warm weather in December when sales slipped back to the level four years ago, Cheng said.
Sales in 2015 reached HK$475.2 billion, with the figure for December down 8.5 percent year on year to HK$43.7 billion, government data showed.
For last year, sales of luxury items, including jewelry and watches, posted the biggest drop of 15.6 percent among all categories while consumer durables recorded the highest gain of 6.1 percent.
Cheng also said Lunar New Year sales could see a high single-digit fall over a year ago.
Nonetheless, downsizing, wage cuts and shop closures are not expected to be widespread after the holidays, he said.
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