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Monday, September 22, 2014, 18:07

HK 'retail sales rebound'

By Selena Li /
HK 'retail sales rebound'
Pedestrians cross a road in Hong Kong's retail heart of Causeway Bay on March 17, 2014. (Photo / AFP)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong’s retail market expanded in the third quarter of 2014 owing to improving sentiments but uncertainties locally and externally still posed downside risks to retail sales, PricewaterhouseCoopers said Monday.

PwC believes the industry can expect a small single-digit growth for the whole of 2014.

As the economy grew and the stock market improved in the second and third quarters, retail sales, especially in the food and beverage and consumer products sectors, expanded. The market also saw a surge in the sales of beauty and healthcare products and festive food such as mooncakes.

Hong Kong retail sales decreased for the sixth consecutive month in July, dropping 3.1% year-on-year. For the first seven months of 2014, total retail sales declined by 1.5% in value.

“The way the HKSAR government is adjusting quotas for visitors from China, as also conflicts between Hong Kongers and Mainlanders, apart from local political and social unrest are likely to have a negative impact on the consumer market. With the recent strengthening of the US dollar, some tourists, and even local consumers, prefer to shop overseas,” Michael Cheng, PwC Asia Pacific, China and Hong Kong Retail & Consumer Leader says.

With the National Day Golden Week approaching, and with the customary shopping spree in the fourth quarter, local retailers can expect to gradually regain lost ground.

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