Total retail sales in December 2022 provisionally estimated at HK$33.7 billion, increased by 1.1%  

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3rd February 2023 – (Hong Kong)  The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released the latest figures on retail sales today.
 
 The value of total retail sales in December 2022, provisionally estimated at $33.7 billion, increased by 1.1% compared with the same month in 2021. The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in November 2022 decreased by 4.1% compared with a year earlier.
 
Of the total retail sales value in December 2022, online sales accounted for 12.0%. The value of online retail sales in that month, provisionally estimated at $4.0 billion, increased by 12.9% compared with the same month in 2021. The revised estimate of online retail sales in November 2022 increased by 9.4% compared with a year earlier.
 
     After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales in December 2022 decreased by 0.7% compared with a year earlier. The revised estimate of the volume of total retail sales in November 2022 decreased by 5.3% compared with a year earlier.
 
     Analysed by broad type of retail outlet in descending order of the provisional estimate of the value of sales and comparing December 2022 with December 2021, the value of sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods not elsewhere classified increased by 1.8%. This was followed by sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (+4.0% in value); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+4.9%); medicines and cosmetics (+8.3%); motor vehicles and parts (+7.4%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+7.2%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+16.2%); and optical shops (+4.0%).
 
On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased by 0.3% in December 2022 over a year earlier. This was followed by sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (-3.0% in value); wearing apparel (-0.9%); commodities in department stores (-5.7%); fuels (-2.6%); furniture and fixtures (-5.3%); and books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-3.4%).
 
Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the provisional estimate of the value of total retail sales increased by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the preceding quarter, while the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales increased by 1.2%.
 
For 2022 as a whole, the value of total retail sales was provisionally estimated at $349.9 billion, decreased by 0.9% in value and 3.4% in volume compared with 2021. The value of online retail sales was provisionally estimated at $34.6 billion, increased by 20.8% over 2021.
 
 Analysed by broad type of retail outlet in descending order of the provisional estimate of the value of sales and comparing the whole year of 2022 with the whole year of 2021, the value of sales of commodities in department stores decreased by 9.9%. This was followed by sales of wearing apparel (-9.0% in value); furniture and fixtures (-5.3%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-9.3%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-2.4%); and optical shops (-2.8%).
 
 On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets increased by 1.3% in 2022 compared with 2021. This was followed by sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods not elsewhere classified (+2.1% in value); other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (+3.9%); jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+0.3%); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+0.1%); medicines and cosmetics (+2.7%); motor vehicles and parts (+1.9%); fuels (+1.7%); and Chinese drugs and herbs (+3.3%).

A government spokesman said that the value of total retail sales reverted to a year-on-year increase of 1.1% in December 2022 alongside improved economic sentiment and the further relaxation of social distancing measures. For the fourth quarter as a whole, there was a small increase of 0.4%. Yet, reflecting the severe impact of the fifth wave of the local epidemic in early 2022, the value of total retail sales fell mildly by 0.9% for the year as a whole.
 
 Looking ahead, the spokesman pointed out that the return of economic activities from the epidemic to normalcy and an expected increase in inbound visitors should bode well for retail sales performance. Improved labour market conditions will provide further support.