Retail sales in Hong Kong rose 6.9% year-on-year in January of 2019, following a downwardly revised 0.1% gain in December. Sales rebounded for food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (8.8% vs -2.5% in December) and jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (8% vs -4.1%). Also, sales rose faster for clothing and footwear (4.6% vs 2.6%) and other consumer goods (10.6% vs 6.4%) but fell for fuels (-0.3% vs 0.8%) and consumer durable goods (-2.6% vs 7%). Retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of the year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year. Local consumer spending normally attains a seasonal high before the Festival. As the Lunar New Year fell on February 5 this year but on February 16 last year, the year-on-year comparison of the figures for January 2019 with those for January 2018 might have been affected by this factor to a certain extent. Retail Sales YoY in Hong Kong averaged 5.61 percent from 2005 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 30.60 percent in February of 2010 and a record low of -18.50 percent in February of 2016.
Retail Sales YoY in Hong Kong is expected to be 4.30 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Retail Sales YoY in Hong Kong to stand at 5.20 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Hong Kong Retail Sales YoY is projected to trend around 4.40 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.