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HK retail sales growth slows in Dec as COVID outbreak dampens sentiment

HONG KONG : Hong Kong’s retail sales climbed for a eleventh month in December helped by continued financial restoration however the growth was at a slower tempo as client sentiment was dampened by a COVID-19 outbreak fuelled by the contagious Omicron variant.

Retail sales in December rose 6.2per cent from a 12 months earlier to HK$33.3 billion ($4.27 billion), authorities information confirmed on Monday. That compares with 7.1per cent enhance in November.

“The latest wave of local epidemic and the tightened anti-epidemic measures have weighed on consumption sentiment and posed renewed pressures on the retail sector,” a authorities spokesman stated.

In quantity phrases, retail sales in December grew 3.4per cent from a 12 months earlier, in contrast with a revised 4.3per cent growth in November.

For the complete 12 months of 2021, complete retail sales elevated 8.1per cent in worth phrases and rose 6.5per cent in quantity. That in comparison with a 24.3per cent decline in worth and 25.5per cent drop in quantity in 2020, the primary 12 months that the pandemic hit.

Online retail sales worth in December jumped 31.5per cent from a 12 months earlier 12 months in contrast with a revised determine of 28.2per cent growth in November.

Sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and beneficial items, which earlier than the pandemic relied closely on vacationers from the mainland, climbed 24.0per cent in December versus a 14.4per cent surge in November, the info confirmed.

Clothing, footwear and associated merchandise rose 12.5per cent in December towards a revised 17.2per cent leap in November.

Tourist arrivals in December soared 94.1per cent from a 12 months earlier to 9,448. That compares with a 59.2per cent enhance in November. However, complete customer arrivals for 2021 plunged 97.4per cent year-on-year to 91,398.

The metropolis’s financial system grew 4.8per cent 12 months on 12 months in the fourth quarter, and it grew 6.4per cent for the entire 2021.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment fee slipped to three.9per cent in the October-December quarter as the labour market improved together with a sustained financial restoration.

($1 = 7.7978 Hong Kong {dollars})

(Reporting by Donny Kwok and Twinnie Siu; Editing by Simon Camero-Moore)



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