Hong Kong sales of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts, jumped 33.7 percent in February — the strongest growth since June 2013 — headlining a 29.8 percent overall retail sales growth to HK$45.2 billion ($5.76 billion), reports Reuters.
Retail sales growth this year is projected at being between 4 and 6 percent, driven by nearly full employment (the jobless rate is at its lowest in around two decades) and tourism. February tourist arrivals rose 26.3 percent to 5.28 million. Mainland China visitors, who accounted for 83.3 percent of the total, rose 40.2 percent.
“Looking ahead, the outlook for retail sales should remain positive in the near term, underpinned by upbeat local consumer sentiment amid a full employment situation and by continued improvement in inbound tourism,” the government has been quoted as saying.
The Hong Kong Retail Management Association, which forecast 3-4 percent growth in retail sales this year, said luxury goods, cosmetic and home appliance segments are set to drive growth in the city’s retail market in 2018.