Hong Kong Retail Sales Up 23 Percent

HONG KONG — It looks like it was a strong Christmas season here, where December retail sales rose 23 percent to a provisional estimate of 43 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $5.54 billion at current exchange, according to figures the city’s census and statistics department released Thursday.
Sales at outlets for jewelery, watches and clocks rose 16 percent, while those selling apparel rose 17 percent and footwear and fashion accessories gained 13 percent for the month.

In terms of full-year 2011 figures, retail sales rose by one-quarter to 405.7 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $52.31 billion, thanks to local demand and tourists, even as the world weathered an economic downturn.

A government spokesman who was not identified in a press release said retail sales maintained a strong momentum last year on the back of buoyant local demand and tourist spending.?? “Looking ahead, improved income conditions should continue to augur well for the retail business in the near term, with the prevailing strength of inbound tourism rendering additional support,” he said.

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