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Hong Kong Luxury Sales Fall in December

Cautious consumer sentiment and political tensions led to 4.9% decrease.
Jan 31, 2019 8:45 AM   By Rapaport News
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 Retail sales of jewelry and other luxury items dropped in Hong Kong in December, amid the continued impact of global economic uncertainties on consumer demand.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts fell 4.9% year on year to HKD 8.27 billion ($1.05 billion), the municipality’s Census and Statistics Department reported Thursday. Sales in all retail categories were up 0.1% to HKD 44.91 billion ($5.72 billion), the slowest growth in over a year.

“The value of retail sales in December 2018 slackened further, to record little change from a year earlier, reflecting the cautious consumption sentiment,” a government spokesperson said.

“Retail sales performance [will] continue to be affected by the cautious consumption sentiment amid moderating global economic growth and the uncertainty stemming from the [US-China] tensions in the near term. [However,] the full employment situation and sustained expansion in visitor arrivals should provide some support,” the spokesperson added.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts increased 14% to HKD 85.36 billion ($10.88 billion) in 2018, while total retail sales grew 9% to HKD 485.2 billion ($61.84 billion) for the year. The growth was due to robust sales in the first six months, the government spokesperson noted.

In December, the total number of tourists to Hong Kong jumped 18% to 6.6 million, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Of those, 5.1 million visitors came from mainland China. In 2018, tourism to Hong Kong climbed 11% to 65.1 million visitors, with 51 million of those arriving from the mainland.

Image: The Tsim Sha Tsui shopping hub in Hong Kong. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Census and Statistics Department, clocks and other valuable gifts, Hong Kong Luxury, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Jewelry, Rapaport News, watches
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