Provisional Statistics of Retail Sales for August 2010
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released the latest figures on retail sales today (October 4).

     The value of total retail sales in August 2010, provisionally estimated at $26.5 billion, increased by 16.9% over a year earlier.  After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales increased by 14.7% in August 2010 when compared with a year earlier.  The relevant components of the Consumer Price Index are used as deflators.

     The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in July 2010, at $27.3 billion, increased by 19.2% over July 2009, while the volume of total retail sales increased by 16.2%.

     Taking the first eight months of 2010 together, total retail sales increased by 17.9% in value or 14.9% in volume over the same period a year earlier.

     Analysed by broad type of retail outlet and comparing August 2010 with August 2009, the volume of sales of miscellaneous consumer durable goods increased the most, by 55.7%.  This was followed by sales of motor vehicles and parts (+49.6% in volume); jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+29.6%); electrical goods and photographic equipment (+21.3%); wearing apparel (+12.6%); miscellaneous consumer goods (+11.1%); furniture and fixtures (+9.8%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+7.6%); commodities in department stores (+4.9%); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+4.5%); commodities in supermarkets (+4.2%); and fuels (+3.5%).

     Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the volume of total retail sales increased by 2.2% in the three months ending August 2010 when compared with the preceding three-month period.

     These retail sales statistics are primarily intended to measure the sales receipts in respect of goods sold by local retail establishments, for gauging the short-term business performance of the local retail sector.  They cover consumer spending on goods but not on services.  Moreover, they include spending on goods by visitors in Hong Kong but not by Hong Kong residents outside Hong Kong.  Hence they should not be regarded as a comprehensive indicator of overall consumer spending.  In this context, it may be noted that the share of consumer spending on services in overall consumer spending has been increasing over time.

     Users interested in the trend of overall consumer spending should refer to the quarterly series of private consumption expenditure (PCE), which is a major component of the Gross Domestic Product.  Compiled from a wide range of data sources, PCE covers consumer spending on both goods (including goods purchased from all channels) and services by Hong Kong residents whether domestically or abroad.

Commentary

     A Government spokesman says that retail sales grew strongly further in August, as local consumer spending continued to display strength.  The vibrant growth in inbound tourism also added impetus to retail sales performance.

     The spokesman adds that looking ahead, improvement in income and job conditions, coupled with thriving inbound tourism, should continue to bode well for retail business.

Further information

     Table 1 presents the revised figures on value index and value of retail sales for all retail outlets and by broad type of retail outlet for July 2010 and the provisional figures for August 2010.  The value index is compiled with the average monthly value index of retail sales from October 2004 to September 2005 taken as 100.

     Table 2 presents the revised figures on volume index of retail sales for all retail outlets and by broad type of retail outlet for July 2010 and the provisional figures for August 2010.  The volume index is compiled with the average monthly volume index of retail sales from October 2004 to September 2005 taken as 100.

     Table 3 shows the movement of the volume of total retail sales in terms of the year-on-year rate of change for a month compared with the same month in the preceding year based on the original series, and in terms of the rate of change for a three-month period compared with the preceding three-month period based on the seasonally adjusted series.

     The classification of retail establishments follows the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC), which is used in various economic surveys for classifying economic units into different industry classes.  Upon the implementation of the new HSIC Version 2.0 by the C&SD in October 2008, the Monthly Survey of Retail Sales has been enhanced to adopt the new classification in compiling the retail sales statistics.  Starting from the reference month of January 2009, all the retail sales statistics are compiled based on the HSIC Version 2.0.

     More detailed statistics are given in the Report on Monthly Survey of Retail Sales.  Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/products/publications/statistical_report/commerce_and_industry/index.jsp).

     Users who have enquiries about the survey results may contact the Distribution Services Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel. : 2802 1258 or E-mail : mrs@censtatd.gov.hk).

Ends/Monday, October 4, 2010
Issued at HKT 16:30

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