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Hong Kong Retail Sales Fall For Second Month

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Hong Kong’s retail sales declined for the second straight month in March, figures from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Wednesday.

The retail sales volume decreased 16.8 percent year-on-year in March, following a 17.6 percent fall in February.

The value of retail sales declined 13.8 percent annually in March, following a 14.6 percent drop in the preceding month.

Sales value of clothing, footwear and allied products declined 41.5 percent annually in March.

Sales of jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts decreased 36.8 percent and those of fuels fell 15.7 percent.

Sales for department stores and consumer durable goods decreased by 16.9 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively.

Sales of other consumer goods fell 6.2 percent and those of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco declined 3.3 percent.

In the first quarter, the retail sales value declined by 7.6 percent yearly and fell a 14.9 percent from the previous quarter.

“The value of retail sales fell sharply further in March from a year earlier, as the fifth wave of local epidemic and the resultant social distancing measures continued to constrain people flow and dampen consumption sentiment,” a government spokesman said.

The government expects the improved local epidemic situation of late and the progressive relaxation of social distancing measures, along with the disbursement of the first batch of electronic consumption vouchers in early April, to underpin the retail sector in the coming months.

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