Hong Kong’s jewellery, watches and valuable gifts retail segment has shown a strong — and accelerating — growth rate over the first four months of this year, pushing up the special administrative region’s overall retail figures by 13.9 percent in a year-on-year comparison for the period.
The jewellery, watches and valuable gifts segment grew by 21 percent over January and February, 23.1 percent in March and 24.6 percent in April.
Observers said the overall retail growth is being driven by a rising number of visitors from the mainland after a lull that stretched over three years to the middle of last year. A government spokesman said however, that the strong sustained growth was due to both strong local consumer spending as well as rising inbound tourism. The high tourist traffic is projected to hold up in the coming months as well.
Other retail segments that did well in April include electronics, which rose 17.1 per cent, department stores, up 12.6 per cent, footwear and accessories, up 9.4 per cent, and optical shops, which rose by 8 per cent.
Apparel sales for the period, however, have shown a downward trend, registering a 19.5 percent increase in January-February, 11.2 percent in March and 6.3 percent in April.
Supermarket sales rose just 1.1 per cent, furniture stores only 1.4 per cent and books and stationery retailers were more or less flat with a mere 0.3 per cent growth.