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Hong Kong Luxury Sales Down in 1Q

March saw slower decline than first two months.
May 5, 2019 9:11 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Retail sales of jewelry and other luxury items dropped in Hong Kong in the first quarter, amid ongoing caution in the consumer market.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts fell 2.7% year on year to HKD 22.38 billion ($2.85 billion) for the three months ending March 31, the municipality’s Census and Statistics Department reported last week. Sales in all retail categories slipped 1.2% to HKD 128.42 billion ($16.37 billion).

“Retail sales declined slightly on a year-on-year basis…in the first quarter as a whole, reflecting the cautious consumption sentiment amid various external uncertainties,” a government spokesperson said.

Challenges in the retail sector will continue in the near term, the spokesperson predicted. However, stable employment and increased tourism to Hong Kong should help drive growth.

Proceeds from jewelry, watches, clock and other valuable gifts decreased 2.6% to HKD 6.7 billion ($854.4 million) in March, while total retail sales fell 0.2% to HKD 39.73 billion ($5.06 billion) for the month. “The decline in March narrowed somewhat from that in January and February combined,” the spokesperson added.

In the first quarter, the total number of tourists to Hong Kong jumped 17% to 18.2 million, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Of those, 14.6 million visitors came from mainland China. In March, tourism to Hong Kong also climbed 17% to 5.9 million, with 4.5 million arriving from the mainland.

Image: A shopping district in Hong Kong. (Pixabay)
Tags: Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong Luxury Sales, hong kong retail, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Rapaport News
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