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Hong Kong Retail Dives in December

Feb 2, 2021 10:04 AM   By Rapaport News
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The decline in Hong Kong retail sales deepened in December as the resurgence of Covid-19 cases and the continued ban on tourism weighed on the market.

Retail sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts plummeted 41% to HKD 3.09 billion ($399 million) for the month, according to data Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department released Tuesday. Sales across all retail categories slid 13% to HKD 31.38 billion ($4.05 billion).

The drop comes after the market for hard-luxury goods had showed signs of recovery the previous month, with November’s 16% decline proving the gentlest for a year and a half.

Sales of jewelry, watches and other luxury gifts slipped 54% year on year to HKD 30.47 billion ($3.93 billion) in 2020, while annual sales in all retail categories plunged 24% to HKD 326.46 billion ($42.11 billion).

“Retail sales saw a widened decline in December amid the fourth wave of the local epidemic and the resultant social-distancing measures,” a government spokesperson said. “For 2020 as a whole, retail sales volume fell by…the largest annual decline on record, reflecting the severe blow to consumption-related activities.”

The retail market in Hong Kong will continue to prove difficult, given the municipality’s reliance on tourist business.

“Looking ahead…the retail trade will remain challenging in the near term amid frozen inbound tourism and the ongoing local epidemic,” the spokesperson explained. “It would thus be pivotal for the community as a whole to spare no effort to fight the virus and keep the epidemic under control at the soonest possible in order to foster the revival of retail business in particular, and the overall economy at large.”

Image: The Hong Kong skyline. (Momo)
Tags: Census and Statistics Department, clocks and valuable gifts, Hong Kong, hong kong retail, Jewelry, Rapaport News, watches
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