Hong Kong retail sales rebound in April, further growth expected (official)

Pedestrians bustle around the Causeway Bay shopping center in Hong Kong on Friday. Photo: Li Qiaoyi/GT

Hong Kong’s consumption rebounded in April after two months of decline, and the new issue of consumer vouchers this summer should further boost spending in this traditional golden period of consumption, Paul Chan Mo-po, financial secretary of the Administrative Region Hong Kong Special (HKSAR), wrote on its official blog on Sunday.

Retail sales in Hong Kong SAR rose 11.7% year-on-year to HK$30.2 billion ($3.85 billion) after falling 13.8% in March, ending to a two-month decline as the major international mall emerged from its fifth wave of COVID-19.

Sales of jewelry, watches and luxury gifts rose 13.9% year-on-year in April, after falling 36.8% in March. The decline in clothing sales narrowed to 0.3% in April from 39.4% in March. Footwear and other accessories sales rose 13.2%, while department store sales rose 18.5%.

As part of the latest initiative to boost consumption, the Hong Kong SAR will launch a second round of vouchers this summer, worth HK$5,000 per person, Chan said.

More than 6.3 million Hong Kong SAR residents received the first half of this year’s consumer vouchers worth HK$5,000 in April.

“The new bond issue is expected to have a higher leverage to stimulate consumption,” Chan said.

Lin Jiang, an economics professor at Sun Yat-sen University, told the Global Times on Sunday that Hong Kong’s retail sector will see a clear recovery with government assistance in the second half of 2022.

“Steps in Hong Kong’s major shopping malls, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay, have obviously recovered recently, to around 70-80 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels,” Lin noted.

He said the recovery in retail sales reflected pent-up desire to spend, as well as the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, adding that consumer vouchers and other government measures were also providing support.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 earlier this year, Hong Kong’s online sales and digital payments have been a beacon of hope. Online retail sales jumped 34.8% year-on-year in April in value after a revised 31.2% rise in March.

Hong Kong’s retail industry and luxury goods industry also stopped falling after experiencing declines in 2020.

According to Wharf Properties, its high-end mall, Harbor City, saw an increase in rental rates in 2021. Times Square’s revenue decline in Causeway Bay narrowed to 11% in 2021, from a decline of 22 % in 2020.

The Hong Kong Retail Management Association said last month that business for most of its members had resumed in April, with outlets selling health and beauty products, watches and jewelry, furniture and household appliances. expecting 20-60% growth.

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