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Retails of wearing apparel soar in March

29
Apr '08
Based on the seasonally adjusted series, the volume of total retail sales increased by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2008 compared with the preceding quarter.

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 pointed out that retail sales expanded rapidly in March over a year earlier, indicative of the sustained upbeat consumer sentiment.

Looking forward, the firm labour market conditions, rising income, and further growth of inbound tourism, will continue to provide support to the retail trade. Nevertheless, there is a need to stay alert to the impact of the unfolding global financial turbulence and the US economic slowdown on the economy and consumer sentiment.

Census and Statistics Department


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