HONG KONG, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- The value of Hong Kong's total retail sales in August increased 4.5 percent from a year earlier, the Census & Statistics Department announced Thursday.
According to the department, the retail sales value was provisionally estimated at 35.8 billion HK dollars (about 4.61 billion U.S. dollars). After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales increased 3.2 percent.
In terms of comparison between broad types of retail outlets year on year, the volume of sales of miscellaneous consumer durable goods increased the most by 32 percent.
This was followed by sales of electrical goods and photographic equipment (12.8 percent in volume); commodities in supermarkets (7.3 percent); commodities in department stores (7.2 percent); miscellaneous consumer goods (5.3 percent); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (4.7 percent); and apparel (1.3 percent).
Meanwhile, the volume of sales of furniture and fixtures decreased 7.3 percent. This was followed by sales of food, alcohol and tobacco (-5.6 percent in volume); jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (-4.9 percent); fuels (-0.9 percent); and motor vehicles and parts (-0.8 percent).
A spokesman of the department said that retail sales volume posted a faster year-on-year increase in August than in July, alongside the pick-up in visitor arrivals. But the growth pace remained slower than that earlier this year.
The department forecast the still-favorable labor market conditions and sustained growth in inbound tourism should continue to render some support to retail businesses, but warned people that persistent weakness in external trade and slower growth of local economy might impact consumers' confidence.