Retail sales in Hong Kong in general, and sales of luxury items and jewelry in particular, continued to fall sharply in November as local social unrest turned extremely violent, causing very severe disruptions to tourism- and consumption-related activities and further dampening consumption sentiment, writes the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The value of total retail sales in November 2019, provisionally estimated at $30.0 billion, declined 24% compared with the same month in 2018. This puts it at the same rate of decline of retail sales in October 2019, which after revision fell 24.4% compared with a year earlier. For the first eleven months of 2019, it was provisionally estimated that the value of total retail sales decreased by 10.3% compared with the same period in 2018. Meanwhile, sales in the category ‘Jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts’ fell in November by (provisionally) 43.5% to HKD 3.34 billion (US$430 million) during the month, after falling 43% in October to HKD 3.9 billion (US$503 million). For the year to date, retail sales in the jewelry and luxury item category have fallen by 21% to HKD 61 billion (US$7.85 billion).
A government spokesman pointed out that pointed out that the near-term outlook for the retail trade “continues to hinge on how the local social incidents will evolve. As such, ending violence and restoring social order are essential to the recovery of the retail trade and indeed that of the whole economy.