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Hong Kong luxury sales fall in February

Retail sales of jewelry and other luxury items declined in Hong Kong in February, impacted by weakened consumer sentiment and the timing of the Lunar New Year.

Revenue from jewelry, watch, clocks and other valuable gifts fell 10% year on year to HKD 7.25 billion ($923.1 million) for the month, the municipality’s Census and Statistics Department reported Monday. Sales in all retail categories dropped 10% to HKD 40.67 billion ($5.18 billion).

Sales figures for luxury goods tend to be more unstable during the first two months of the year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, as consumers tend to shop prior to the festival, a government spokesperson said. This year, the holiday fell on February 5, as opposed to February 16 last year, meaning more shopping would have been done in January this year. Economic uncertainty also affected spending, according to the government. “The weak performance of retail sales in recent months reflected that [consumer] sentiment remained cautious amid various external uncertainties,” the spokesperson added, noting that global pressure would continue to affect retail sales in the near term. However, the improved employment situation and growth in inbound tourism will help provide support, he explained.

Tourist arrivals in Hong Kong rose 6% to 5.6 million in February, the Hong Kong Tourism Board reported. Of those, 4.6 million came from mainland China.

In the first two months of the year, sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts slid 2.8% to HKD 15.67 billion ($2 billion).

Courtesy - Rapaport

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