Hong Kong September Retail Gross sales In Doldrums As Pandemic Curbs Spending

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HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s retail gross sales fell by double digits in September as coronavirus restrictions slammed the brakes on spending and tourism slowed to a trickle, however the decline was smaller than in August as infections slowed..

Gross sales plummeted 12.9% from a 12 months earlier to HK$26.1 billion ($3.4 billion), authorities information confirmed on Monday, falling for the twentieth month in contrast with a 13.1% decline in August.

In quantity phrases, retail gross sales slumped 13.4%, unchanged from the earlier month.

“The enterprise surroundings of the retail commerce will stay difficult within the close to time period, as inbound tourism is unlikely to see a swift rebound and the labour market continues to be underneath stress,” a authorities spokesman stated.

“Nevertheless, with the stabilisation of the native epidemic and the current rest of social distancing measures, native consumption sentiment is more likely to revive additional,” the spokesman added.

For the primary 9 months of 2020, the worth of whole retail gross sales fell 28.7%, and 30% by quantity, from the corresponding 2019 interval.

The town’s largest retailer affiliation estimated that 15,000 retail shops will shut by the year-end, and urged landlords to increase rental aid. Enterprise consultancy PwC has estimated retail gross sales will shrink 19.7% in 2020.

Hong Kong’s lengthy recession confirmed indicators of easing within the third quarter helped by an enhancing Chinese language economic system, an easing of the COVID-19 outbreak and stronger monetary market exercise.

The economic system shrank 3.4% in July-September from a 12 months earlier in contrast with a 9.0% contraction in April-June, however elevated 3% from the second quarter – the primary development after 5 quarters of decline, authorities advance estimate confirmed.

The town’s vacationer arrivals in September plunged 99.7% from a 12 months earlier to 9,132 guests, the tourism board stated, in contrast with a drop of 99.9% in August.

Gross sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and helpful items, which rely closely on mainland vacationers, fell 25.7% in September versus a revised 37.4% plunge in August.

($1 = 7.7534 Hong Kong {dollars})

(Modifying by Jacqueline Wong)

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