Hong Kong Feb retail gross sales rise 1.9pc as tourism extends restoration

Hong Kong’s retail gross sales rose for the fifteenth straight month in February boosted by persevering with progress in tourism and consumption, official information confirmed on Wednesday. 

Gross sales in February rose 1.9 p.c from a yr earlier to HK$33.8 billion (US$4.32 billion), the Hong Kong authorities stated. That in contrast with 0.9 p.c progress in January, 7.8 p.c rise in December and 15.9 p.c leap in November. 

“As dealing with capability continues to get better and extra mega occasions are staged, inbound tourism is anticipated to revive additional and profit the retail sector,” a authorities spokesman stated. 

The federal government’s initiatives in boosting consumption sentiment also needs to present assist, the spokesman added. 

When it comes to quantity, retail gross sales elevated 0.5 p.c in February. That in contrast with January’s 1.2 p.c fall, the primary decline in quantity phrases since December 2022, when it slipped 0.6 p.c. It grew 4.8 p.c in December 2023 and was up 12.4 p.c in November. 

Hong Kong’s economic system is anticipated to develop 2.5 to three.5 p.c this yr after increasing 3.2 p.c in 2023 as the town struggles to revive its economic system following the Covid-19 pandemic whereas battling mounting deficits and financial headwinds. 

The federal government plans to roll out assist measures of greater than HK$1 billion (US$127 million) for the beleaguered tourism trade, staging greater than 80 “mega occasions” similar to fireworks and drone exhibits within the yr’s first half to lure guests. 

Chinese language cities of Xian and Qingdao additionally joined a journey scheme permitting residents to make private visits to Hong Kong, fairly than in tour teams. The scheme took impact from March 6, taking to 51 the overall of Chinese language cities whose residents are eligible to use for particular person journey. 

February customer arrivals stood at 4.0 million, information from the Hong Kong Tourism Board confirmed. That in contrast with 3.83 million in January and 1.46 million in February 2023. 

The variety of mainland Chinese language guests rose to three.25 million in February from January’s 2.98 million, December’s 2.94 million and 1.11 million in February 2023. 

Gross sales of knickknack, watches, clocks and invaluable presents, purchased largely by mainland vacationers earlier than the pandemic, fell 3.6 p.c in February on yr after 22.8 p.c progress in January, information confirmed. 

Gross sales of clothes, footwear and equipment grew 12.3 p.c in February after a rise of two.7 p.c in January. 

(US$1 = 7.8286 Hong Kong {dollars})

(Reuters)

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