(Adds details, comments)
* Nov retail sales rise 7.5 pct y/y in value terms
* Tourist arrivals up 7 pct in Nov, vs 6.6 pct rise in Oct
* Near-term outlook positive as inbound tourism recovers -
By Donny Kwok and Twinnie Siu
HONG KONG, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's retail sales rose
for the ninth month in November in their best growth since
February 2015 on strong consumer demand and improved tourism, in
particular from mainland China.
November retail sales grew 7.5 percent from a year earlier
to HK$38.7 billion ($4.95 billion) in value terms, government
data showed on Wednesday. Retail sales rose 3.9 percent in
In volume terms, sales rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier,
compared with 3.6 percent growth in October.
"The near-term outlook for retail sales remains positive, as
consumer sentiment is buttressed by the favourable employment
and income situation, and as inbound tourism continues to
recover," the government said in a statement.
Tourist arrivals rose 7.0 percent in November, the highest
percentage growth since March, with mainland visitors up 8.6
percent, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Mainland
visitors accounted for 74 percent of the total.
For the first 11 months of 2017, total visitor arrivals rose
Hong Kong's retail sales are continuing to recover after
shrinking for the third consecutive year in 2016 and by the most
in nearly two decades, hurt by the city's economic downturn and
fewer tourists from China.
With its economy closely tied to its giant northern
neighbour, Hong Kong has gained from buoyant trading and
manufacturing activities linked to China's economic activity.
The still-solid momentum puts the former British colony
firmly on track to achieve the government's revised full-year
estimate of 3.7 percent growth for 2017 as buoyant stock and
property markets help spur consumer spending.
"As the local jobless rate remains low and asset market
continues to grow, the wealth effect will continue to lend
support to retail consumption," said Thomas Shik, acting chief
economist of Hang Seng Bank.
Shik estimates 2 percent growth in Hong Kong's retail sales
for the whole of 2017 and 4 percent growth in 2018.
Sales of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts rose
7.9 percent in value terms in November, marking their fifth
consecutive month of growth. That compared with a revised 8.5
percent jump in October.
Hong Kong's retailers and mall operators have been reporting
stronger sales on improved consumption and tourism.
Sun Hung Kai Properties said retail sales at its
eight major shopping malls in the city on New Year's Eve
amounted to HK$76.75 million, up 10 percent from the same period
a year ago, with foot traffic growing 12 percent.
For the first 11 months of 2017, Hong Kong's retail sales
increased 1.8 percent in value terms year-on-year and 1.7
percent in volume terms.
($1 = 7.8170 Hong Kong dollars)
(Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Jacqueline Wong)
First Published: 2018-01-03 10:37:05
Updated 2018-01-03 12:15:11
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