BY: Leah Meirovich
“Hong Kong’s hard-luxury sales rebounded in July as the job market improved, giving shoppers more spending power.
Sales of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts jumped 28% year on year to HKD 4.08 billion ($519.4 million) for the month, the municipality’s Census and Statistics Department reported last week. The figure was also strong compared to the same period the previous year, when the hard-luxury market saw its weakest growth for six months amid a dearth of tourism. The increase is the highest in the category this year. In June, sales were up 2.3%, while May saw an 8% rise.
Sales in all retail categories grew 4.1% to HKD 28.31 billion ($3.61 billion).
“Retail sales resumed a moderate year-on-year increase in July,” a government spokesperson said. “Improving labour market conditions supported consumer spending, while a lower base of comparison also partly contributed.”
In the first seven months of the year, sales of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts slipped 1.8% to HKD 21.53 billion ($2.74 billion). Proceeds from all retail segments fell 1.7% to HKD 198.15 billion ($25.24 billion).
The government issued a second set of HKD 5,000 ($637) stimulus vouchers in August, but the short-term outlook is unclear, it noted.
“Looking ahead…the [second set of] vouchers should render support to consumption demand in the coming months,” the spokesperson added. “Yet tighter financial conditions and development of the local epidemic will also have bearings on the performance of the retail sector.””