World Economy

HK Retail Sales Slump Further

HK Retail Sales Slump FurtherHK Retail Sales Slump Further

The value of Hong Kong retail sales fell for a ninth consecutive month in November, the longest period of decline in 13 years, hit by a slide in the number of Chinese tourists coming to the city and by weak consumer spending, Reuters reported. Retail sales plunged 7.8% from a year earlier, the biggest percentage drop since January 2015, to HK$38.1 billion ($4.92 billion). In volume terms, November sales fell 6%. “This was mainly dragged by the further slowdown in inbound tourism,” the government said in a statement. “The increased downside risks to economic outlook and recent stock market corrections might also have resulted in more cautious local consumption sentiment.” Retail sales will likely be “still constrained” by weak tourism, it said, adding that local sentiment could be impacted by the uncertain economic outlook following the US interest rate hike. Hong Kong is bracing for greater economic challenges as the prospect of a cycle of interest rate rises drives fears of capital outflows that could pressure the Asian financial hub.