Hong Kong November retail sales up 15.9%, helped by inbound tourism


UPDATE 1-Hong Kong November retail sales up 15.9%, helped by inbound tourism

Adds tourism numbers, retail data breakdown, government comment

November jewellery sales up 60.8% y/y vs Oct’s 27.5% growth

Government sees further recovery of inbound tourism

HONG KONG, Jan 4 (Reuters)The continued revival of inbound tourism helped Hong Kong’s retail sales notch up a 12th consecutive month of growth in November, official data showed on Thursday.

Sales increased 15.9% year-on-year to HK$34.2 billion ($4.38 billion) in November, the Hong Kong government said. That was compared with 5.8% growth in October, 13% growth in September and 13.7% rise in August.

“An expected further recovery of inbound tourism should continue to benefit the retail sector,” a government spokesman said, adding that a continued improvement in household income and various activities also provide support to the economy.

In volume terms, November retail sales increased 12.4% year-on-year. That compared with a 2.9% rise in October, 10% rise in September and 11% growth in August.

For the first 11 months of 2023, the value of retail sales rose 17.1% year-on-year while volume grew 14.7%.

Hong Kong’s economy expanded 4.1% in the third quarter from a year earlier, beating growth of 1.5% in the second quarter and 2.9% in the first.

However, the government revised down the full-year economic growth forecast to 3.2% from an earlier estimate of a 4.0% to 5.0% range. The economy shrank 3.5% in 2022.

Visitor arrivals for November were 3.29 million, bringing the total for the first 11 months of 2023 to 30.07 million, according to Hong Kong Tourism Board preliminary data. That was compared with last year’s 113,763 and 443,986 respectively, when China was still in the grip of COVID restrictions.

The number of mainland Chinese visitors decreased to 2.4 million in November from 2.7 million in October, the data showed. That compared with 58,694 in November 2022.

Sales of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts, which before the pandemic were mostly bought by mainland tourists, rose 60.8% year-on-year in November after a 27.5% rise in October, data showed.

Sales of clothing, footwear and accessories grew 49.6% on the year in November after a 24.9% increase in October.

($1 = 7.8066 Hong Kong dollars)

Reporting by Donny Kwok and Twinnie Siu; Editing by Alison Williams



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