Retail sales drop 3pc as crisis hurts confidence

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 January, 1998, 12:00am

Figures released by the Government yesterday show Asia's turmoil had a big impact on consumer confidence in Hong Kong in November, with retail sales dropping 3 per cent by volume compared with the same month in 1996.

Retail sales by value stood at $18.4 billion, virtually unchanged from the previous corresponding period.

Sentiment was hammered by the continued slowdown in inbound tourism as well as the marked consolidations in the stock and property markets since October, it said.

Demand for cars declined 8 per cent in volume, the first fall after continuous increases since March 1996.

Clothing and footwear were the top losers, falling 13 per cent by volume. Supermarket followed, with sales down 11 per cent in volume.

Luxury items such as jewellery and watches saw demand dip 1 per cent in volume.

Food, alcoholic drinks and supermarkets were the only areas achieving growth, at 1 per cent in volume.

The Hong Kong Retail Management Association is expecting disappointing sales in December, with fashion and clothes expected to be down 40 per cent.


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