Jan retail sales up 7%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.2 billion, rose 7% compared with the same month in 2022, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.


After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month increased 5.1% year-on-year.


Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 8.2%. Provisionally estimated at $3 billion, the value of online retail sales dropped 4.2% compared with a year earlier. 


Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.


The value of sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified increased 6% compared with January 2022.


This was followed by sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+23.1% in value); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods not elsewhere classified (+13.4%); wearing apparel (+14.4%); commodities in department stores (+3.9%); medicines and cosmetics (+15.3%); motor vehicles and parts (+1.3%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+16%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+38.5%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+20.3%); and optical shops (+13.8%).


On the other hand, the value of sales of commodities in supermarkets dipped 7.2% for the period, followed by sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-1% in value); fuels (-0.1%); and furniture and fixtures (-21.3%).


The Government said the value of total retail sales rose further in January over a year earlier as consumer sentiment improved, helped by the early arrival of the Lunar New Year. Business activity of many types of retail outlets saw improvement, with some recording double-digit increases.


Looking ahead, the Government noted that the continuous return of economic activities to normalcy and a further rebound in the number of visitor arrivals will benefit the retail sector, with the improved labour market conditions to provide additional support.