Sai Wan Ho testing exercise ends

Dec retail sales fall 13.2%

The value of total retail sales in December 2020, provisionally estimated at $31.4 billion, fell 13.2% compared with the same month in 2019, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales decreased 14% year-on-year.   The value of sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco decreased 14.3%.   This was followed by sales of commodities in department stores (-18.3% in value), jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (-40.8%), wearing apparel (-27.8%), medicines and cosmetics (-40.9%), fuels (-9.9%), footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-36.7%), Chinese drugs and herbs (-15.1%), books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (-20%), and optical shops (-31.3%).   On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets increased 11.7%.   This was followed by sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (+21.7% in value), other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+5.8%), motor vehicles and parts (+10.5%), and furniture and fixtures (+6.3%).   For 2020 as a whole, the value of total retail sales was provisionally estimated at $326.5 billion, down 24.3% in value and 25.5% in volume compared with 2019.   The Government said retail sales saw a widened decline in December amid the fourth wave of the local epidemic and the resulting social distancing measures.   For 2020 as a whole, the volume of retail sales fell 25.5%, the largest annual decline on record, reflecting the severe blow to consumption-related activities caused by the epidemic.   Looking ahead, the Government pointed out that the business environment of the retail trade will remain challenging in the near term amid frozen inbound tourism and the ongoing local epidemic.   It added it would be pivotal for the community as a whole to spare no effort to fight the virus and keep the epidemic under control to foster the revival of the retail business and overall economy.
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