Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

The value of total retail sales in September, provisionally estimated at $26.1 billion, fell 12.9% compared with the same month in 2019, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.

After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales dropped 13.4% year-on-year.

The value of sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco decreased 11.1%.

This was followed by sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (-25.7% in value), electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (-38.7%), wearing apparel (-20.6%), medicines and cosmetics (-45.5%), fuels (-4.6%), footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-16.2%), Chinese drugs and herbs (-4.6%), and optical shops (-26.9%).

On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets rose 3.8%. This was followed by sales of commodities in department stores (+5.5% in value), other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+16.7%), motor vehicles and parts (+17.1%), furniture and fixtures (+8.4%), and books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+6.1%).

The Government said the year-on-year decline in retail sales remained notable in September.

However, it noted that the performance of the retail sector had shown some improvement over August as the third wave of the local epidemic abated.

Looking ahead, as inbound tourism is unlikely to see a swift rebound and the labour market is still under pressure, the business environment of the retail trade will remain challenging in the near term.

However, with the stabilisation of the local epidemic situation and the recent relaxation of social distancing measures, local consumption sentiment is likely to revive further, it added.

By Bureau