Hong Kong retail sales down 2.3 percent in February

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Hong Kong, China (4E) – Sales among Hong Kong retailers dropped 2.3 percent in February from the earlier year, reversing the previous month’s rise partly because of distorted data caused by the timing of the Chinese New Year, according to the Census and Statistics Department report released Monday.

The decline followed the 14.4 percent gain in January and fell short of the median 2.4 percent growth forecast of four economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Retail sales, which are typically volatile in the first two months of the year due to the Lunar New Year, declined in late January in 2014 but in mid-February last year, according to a spokesman for the government. Total retail sales in the first two months of 2014 rose 6.6 percent in value from the same period a year ago, the government spokesman said.

In terms of volume, Hong Kong’s retail sales also slid 2.3 percent in February on year, reversing January’s 16.7 percent gain, and below the analysts’ median estimate of 4.8 percent expansion.

In the first two months of the year, total retail sales by volume grew 7.9 percent over the January and February period in 2013.

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