Provisional statistics of retail sales for January 2023
The value of total retail sales in January 2023, provisionally estimated at $36.2 billion, increased by 7.0% compared with the same month in 2022. The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in December 2022 increased by 1.2% compared with a year earlier.
Of the total retail sales value in January 2023, online sales accounted for 8.2%. The value of online retail sales in that month, provisionally estimated at $3.0 billion, decreased by 4.2% compared with the same month in 2022. The revised estimate of online retail sales in December 2022 increased by 12.8% compared with a year earlier.
After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales in January 2023 increased by 5.1% compared with a year earlier. The revised estimate of the volume of total retail sales in December 2022 decreased by 0.6% compared with a year earlier.
In interpreting the figures for January, it should be noted that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year. Local consumer spending normally attains a seasonal high before the Festival. As the Lunar New Year fell on January 22 this year but on February 1 last year, the year-on-year comparison of the figures for January 2023 with those for January 2022 might have been affected by this factor to a certain extent.
Analysed by broad type of retail outlet in descending order of the provisional estimate of the value of sales and comparing January 2023 with January 2022, and also bearing in mind the effect due to the difference in the timing of the Lunar New Year as mentioned above, the value of sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified increased by 6.0%. This was followed by sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+23.1% in value); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods not elsewhere classified (+13.4%); wearing apparel (+14.4%); commodities in department stores (+3.9%); medicines and cosmetics (+15.3%); motor vehicles and parts (+1.3%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+16.0%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+38.5%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+20.3%); and optical shops (+13.8%).
On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased by 7.2% in January 2023 over a year earlier. This was followed by sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-1.0% in value); fuels (-0.1%); and furniture and fixtures (-21.3%).
Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the provisional estimate of the value of total retail sales decreased by 5.2% in the three months ending January 2023 compared with the preceding three-month period, while the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales decreased by 4.7%.
A government spokesman said that the value of total retail sales rose further in January over a year earlier as consumer sentiment improved. The early arrival of the Lunar New Year this year could have also helped. Business of many types of retail outlet saw improvement, with some recording double-digit increases.
Looking ahead, the spokesman pointed out that the continued return of economic activities to normalcy and further rebound in the number of visitor arrivals will benefit the retail sector. Improved labour market conditions will also provide support.
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 December 2022 as well as the provisional figures for January 2023.
Table 2 presents the revised figures on value of online retail sales for December 2022 as well as the provisional figures for January 2023.
Table 3 presents the revised figures on volume index of retail sales for all retail outlets and by broad type of retail outlet for December 2022 as well as the provisional figures for January 2023.
Table 4 shows the movements of the value and 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.
These retail sales statistics measure the sales receipts in respect of goods sold by local retail establishments and are primarily intended for gauging the short-term business performance of the local retail sector. Data on retail sales are collected from local retail establishments through the Monthly Survey of Retail Sales (MRS). Local retail establishments with and without physical shops are covered in MRS and their sales, both through conventional shops and online channels, are included in the retail sales statistics.
The retail sales statistics cover consumer spending on goods but not on services (such as those on housing, catering, medical care and health services, transport and communication, financial services, education and entertainment) which account for over 50% of the overall consumer spending. Moreover, they include spending on goods in Hong Kong by visitors but exclude spending outside Hong Kong by Hong Kong residents. Hence they should not be regarded as indicators for measuring 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 published at quarterly intervals. 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 locally or abroad. Please refer to the C&SD publication "Gross Domestic Product (Quarterly)" for more details.
More detailed statistics are given in the "Report on Monthly Survey of Retail Sales". Users can download this publication at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=B1080003&scode=530). Alternatively, the historical series of retail sales statistics can be downloaded in the form of a statistical table at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=D5600089&scode=530).
Users who have enquiries about the survey results may contact the Distribution Services Statistics Section of C&SD (Tel: 3903 7400; email: email@example.com).
Ends/Thursday, March 2, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:30
Issued at HKT 16:30