Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article news.gov.hk
Provisional statistics of retail sales for April 2012
*****************************************************

     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released the latest figures on retail sales today (May 31).

     The value of total retail sales in April 2012, provisionally estimated at $35.7 billion, increased by 11.4% over a year earlier.  After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales increased by 7.6% in April 2012 compared with a year earlier.  The relevant components of the Consumer Price Index are used as deflators.

     The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in March 2012, at $36.6 billion, increased by 17.1% over March 2011, while the volume of total retail sales increased by 13.2%.

     For the first four months of 2012, total retail sales increased by 14.7% in value and 10.0% in volume over the same period a year earlier.

     Analysed by broad type of retail outlet and comparing April 2012 with April 2011, the volume of sales of miscellaneous consumer durable goods increased the most, by 52.2%.  This was followed by sales of electrical goods and photographic equipment (+45.2% in volume); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+9.7%); commodities in supermarkets (+8.0%); commodities in department stores (+6.9%); jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+6.6%); wearing apparel (+3.3%); and miscellaneous consumer goods (+3.0%).

     On the other hand, the volume of sales of motor vehicles and parts decreased the most, by 18.6% in April 2012 compared with a year earlier.  This was followed by sales of furniture and fixtures (-9.2% in volume); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-6.4%) (despite an increase of 22.7% in the volume of sales of alcoholic drinks and tobacco within this group); and fuels (-1.8%).

     Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the volume of total retail sales increased by 3.4% in the three months ending April 2012 compared with the preceding three-month period.

     These retail sales statistics are primarily intended to measure the sales receipts in respect of goods sold by local retail establishments, for gauging the short-term business performance of the local retail sector.  They cover consumer spending on goods but not on services.  Moreover, they include spending on goods by visitors in Hong Kong but not by Hong Kong residents outside Hong Kong.  Hence they should not be regarded as a comprehensive indicator of overall consumer spending.

     Users interested in the trend of overall consumer spending should refer to the data series of private consumption expenditure (PCE), which is a major component of the Gross Domestic Product.  Compiled from a wide range of data sources, PCE covers consumer spending on both goods (including goods purchased from all channels) and services by Hong Kong residents whether domestically or abroad.

Commentary

     A Government spokesman noted that retail sales grew solidly further in April, though at a somewhat moderated pace than that seen early in the year.

     The spokesman added that looking ahead, the still rather buoyant labour market conditions and inbound tourism should continue to lend some support to the retail business in the near term.  Nevertheless, we need to closely watch over how the notably increased external uncertainties and the retreat in local stock market of late will affect local consumer sentiment down the road.

Further information

     Table 1 presents the revised figures on value index and value of retail sales for all retail outlets and by broad type of retail outlet for March 2012 and the provisional figures for April 2012.  The value index is compiled with the average monthly value index of retail sales from October 2009 to September 2010 taken as 100.

     Table 2 presents the revised figures on volume index of retail sales for all retail outlets and by broad type of retail outlet for March 2012 and the provisional figures for April 2012.  The volume index is compiled with the average monthly volume index of retail sales from October 2009 to September 2010 taken as 100.

     Table 3 shows the movement of the volume of total retail sales in terms of the year-on-year rate of change for a month compared with the same month in the preceding year based on the original series, and in terms of the rate of change for a three-month period compared with the preceding three-month period based on the seasonally adjusted series.

     The classification of retail establishments follows the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC) Version 2.0, which is used in various economic surveys for classifying economic units into different industry classes.

     More detailed statistics are given in the Report on Monthly Survey of Retail Sales.  Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/products/publications/statistical_report/commerce_and_industry/index.jsp).

     Users who have enquiries about the survey results may contact the Distribution Services Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel.: 2802 1258 or email: [email protected]).

Ends/Thursday, May 31, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:30

NNNN

Print this page