Total retail sales in May 2022, provisionally estimated at HK$29.1 billion, decreased by 1.7%

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30th June 2022 – (Hong Kong) The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released the latest figures on retail sales today.

The value of total retail sales in May 2022, provisionally estimated at $29.1 billion, decreased by 1.7% compared with the same month in 2021. The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in April 2022 increased by 11.7% compared with a year earlier. For the first 5 months of 2022 taken together, it was provisionally estimated that the value of total retail sales decreased by 2.9% compared with the same period in 2021.

 Of the total retail sales value in May 2022, online sales accounted for 7.7%. The value of online retail sales in that month, provisionally estimated at $2.2 billion, increased by 2.0% compared with the same month in 2021. The revised estimate of online retail sales in April 2022 increased by 36.0% compared with a year earlier. For the first 5 months of 2022 taken together, it was provisionally estimated that the value of online retail sales increased by 29.0% compared with the same period in 2021.

 After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales in May 2022 decreased by 4.9% compared with a year earlier. The revised estimate of the volume of total retail sales in April 2022 increased by 8.0% compared with a year earlier. For the first 5 months of 2022 taken together, the provisional estimate of the total retail sales decreased by 5.9% in volume compared with the same period in 2021.

Analysed by broad type of retail outlet in descending order of the provisional estimate of the value of sales and comparing May 2022 with May 2021, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased by 5.2%. This was followed by sales of commodities in department stores (-4.4% in value); wearing apparel (-2.1%); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods not elsewhere classified (-2.3%); medicines and cosmetics (-5.3%); motor vehicles and parts (-31.7%); and furniture and fixtures (-5.1%).

 On the other hand, the value of sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified increased by 7.7% in May 2022 over a year earlier. This was followed by sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+7.1% in value); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+1.9%); fuels (+1.7%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+0.9%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+4.4%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+2.4%); and optical shops (+5.0%).

Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the provisional estimate of the value of total retail sales increased by 3.1% in the three months ending May 2022 compared with the preceding three-month period, while the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales increased by 1.8%.

A government spokesman said that after the strong growth in April, the value of retail sales declined mildly from a year earlier in May. Nonetheless, taking April and May together there was still a year-on-year increase of 4.7% thanks to the moderated local epidemic and the support of the Consumption Voucher Scheme, representing a notable improvement from the 7.6% fall in the first quarter.

 Looking ahead, the spokesman pointed out that as long as the local epidemic situation remains under control, retail businesses should continue to revive. It is thus essential for the community to work in unison with the Government to keep the epidemic contained.

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