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Hong Kong Retail Sales Continue Resurgence

May 04, 2021

RAPAPORT... Hong Kong-based retail sales of jewelry and other hard-luxury items surged in March as Covid-19 restrictions eased and consumer sentiment improved.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts rose 81% year on year to HKD 2.98 billion ($384 million) during the month, the municipality’s Census and Statistics Department reported Tuesday. Sales across all retail categories grew 20% to HKD 27.6 billion ($3.55 billion).

A favorable comparison with the same period in 2020, when businesses closed and tourism stopped, also contributed to the sharp jump in sales, a government spokesperson said.

However, while demand is improving, it is still well below the same period two years ago. Sales of jewelry and other luxury items slid 55% compared with March 2019.

In the first quarter, sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts climbed 19% versus 2020 to HKD 9.68 billion ($1.25 billion). Sales in all retail categories rose 8% to HKD 89.68 billion ($11.55 billion), but fell 33% from the January-to-March period in 2019.

Despite the lifting of some restrictions, the government remains concerned for retail sales over the next few months, it explained.

“While local consumption sentiment saw some improvement following the gradual relaxation of social-distancing measures since mid-February, the near-term outlook for the retail trade is still challenging as inbound tourism remains in the doldrums,” the spokesperson added. 

Image: Hong Kong trams. (Pixabay)

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