Retail sales value up 8.8%

The total retail sales value in December, provisionally estimated at $ 46.9 billion, rose 8.8% over a year earlier, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.


After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the total retail sales volume increased 8.1% over a year earlier.


The revised estimate of total retail sales value in November, at $ 36.5 billion, rose 9.4% year-on-year, while the total retail sales volume grew 8.1%.


For 2012 as a whole, total retail sales increased 9.8% in value and 7.2% in volume year on year.


Analysed by broad type of retail outlet and comparing December 2012 with December 2011, the sales volume of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased by 9.4%.


This was followed by sales of apparel (+3.2%); commodities in department stores (+8.9%); electrical goods and photographic equipment (+19.2%); commodities in supermarkets (+5.3%); medicines and cosmetics (+1%); miscellaneous consumer durable goods (+77.1%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+3.5%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+3.4%); and, optical shops (+7.9%).


The sales volume of food, alcohol and tobacco decreased by 5.9%, followed by motor vehicles and parts (-3.4%); fuels (-3.6%); furniture and fixtures (-8.4%); and, books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-1.2%).


The department said retail sales sustained notable year-on-year growth in December, reflecting the sanguine consumer sentiment amid favourable labour market conditions and vibrant inbound tourism.


Looking ahead, it said the near-term performance of the retail business should continue to be underpinned by recent improvement in economic sentiment and further growth in visitor arrivals. However, the public should stay alert to developments in the external environment, which still faces considerable uncertainties.

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