Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

Hong Kong’s retail figures for 2022 drop 0.9 per cent, but better days predicted

Hong Kong’s retail figures for 2022 drop 0.9 per cent, but better days predicted

Retail sales amounted to HK$349.9 billion last year, while total volume fell by 3.4 per cent over 2021’s figures.

Hong Kong’s retail sales dropped 0.9 per cent last year over 2021’s levels, but industry experts said they expect to see improvement in the second half of this year after the full reopening of the border with mainland China next Monday.

Provisional figures released by the Census and Statistics Department on Friday showed the city’s retail sales amounted to HK$349.9 billion (US$44.6 billion) last year. The total volume of sales decreased by 3.4 per cent over 2021’s figures.

For December, sales grew by 1.1 per cent against the same month in 2021, to hit HK$33.7 billion, and online buys rose by 12.9 per cent to hit HK$4 billion.

Online retail sales for all of last year increased by 20.8 per cent when compared with 2021, hitting HK$34.6 billion.

Shoppers in Mong Kok on the second day of the Lunar New Year.

A government spokesman said December’s increase was the result of improved economic sentiment and the further relaxation of social-distancing measures. The fifth Covid-19 wave in early 2022 contributed to the 0.9 per cent decline in retail sales, he noted.

“Looking ahead … the return of economic activities from the epidemic to normalcy and an expected increase in inbound visitors should bode well for retail sales performance. Improved labour market conditions will provide further support,” he said.

The Hong Kong Retail Management Association said the slight rise in December’s sales reflected a lack of substantial improvement in the economy, despite inbound quarantine for travellers being scrapped on December 13.
Chairman of Hong Kong Retail Management Association Annie Tse Yau On-yee.

Annie Tse Yau On-yee, chairwoman of the association, said an internal survey found that over half of the city’s retailers experienced a decrease in business in December.

“December tended to be a peak season for the retail sector. Generally speaking, most of our members would report an uptick in sales, but over half reported a drop in business,” Tse said.

The representative said retailers expected sales to grow between 10 per cent and 40 per cent in the first quarter of this year, but the sector might only see substantial improvement in the second half.

The government announced on Friday it would drop all Covid-19 curbs for travellers crossing the border with mainland China on Monday, including daily quotas.

Tse said the resumption of quarantine-free travel since January 8 in the first phase of the border reopening did not bring an influx of tourists as expected. Nearly 30 per cent of retailers surveyed described their business levels as “weak”, while more than 90 per cent said customer traffic was middling under relaxed entry measures into the city.

“Overall, the return of tourist spending from the city’s reopening is still at a preliminary stage. There hasn’t been a significant improvement in business yet,” she said.

Tse said, however, more than 80 per cent of retailers had seen an increase in sales during the Lunar New Year holiday period last month, though none recorded in excess of 40 per cent growth.

Overall, an improved atmosphere has boosted spending, Tse said. “As the borders have reopened, there was also motivation to spend for those returning home to the mainland for the new year, as they would purchase goods for their friends and family,” she added.

Department stores, cosmetics, optical shops, jewellery and watches, and health food sectors, benefited from the extra holiday spending the most.

They had between 20 per cent and 30 per cent growth, while clothing, personal care products and convenience stores recorded no more than 10 per cent growth, Tse said.

Tse highlighted the reopening had led to a surge in travel by residents, which dampened certain sectors of the city’s retail market, such as furniture and supermarkets.

Retail sector lawmaker Peter Shiu Ka-fai said December’s figures were within expectations, as the city’s retail market was still reliant on Hongkongers.

“For December, we had Hongkongers leaving the city to travel, while there was no influx of tourists before the reopening with mainland on January 8. Thankfully, the relaxation of almost all anti-epidemic curbs and the World Cup brought in some consumption activity,” Shiu said.

He said the full reopening of the border with the mainland was a “strong stimulant” to the local retail market.

Shiu added the city could expect a sizeable uptick in the number of tourists towards the middle of the year.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
The BBC problem about China
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
A primitive judge in Australia sparked outrage when he told a breastfeeding woman to leave his courtroom for being “a distraction"
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
2 universities in Hong Kong embrace use of ChatGPT, other AI tools
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
Missing Chinese banker was working to set up Singapore family office
Hong Kong ditches Covid mask mandate after 945 days
Xi Jinping and His Wife Meet with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
When it comes to Tesla vs Lamborghini, an empty vessel makes more noise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
North Korea test-fires an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan west of Hokkaido
US bombed Nord Stream gas pipelines, claims investigative journalist Seymour Hersh
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History