Jewellery on display at a retail store in Hong Kong
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The Hong Kong Retail Management Association (HKRMA) expressed concern over continued mass demonstrations in Hong Kong, which have negatively affected the retail sector.
Citing government data, the association said jewellery sales registered the steepest year-on-year decline of 17.1 percent in June, with total retail sales retreating 6.7 percent as consumers become even more cautious.
“Member companies are very concerned about the prolonged protests in different parts of the city. The association forecasts a single to double-digit drop in sales for July and August 2019,” noted HKRMA in a statement.
Data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department showed that retail sales in June reached an estimated HK$35.2 billion (around US$4.5 billion). Sales plummeted 2.6 percent in the first half of the year.
A government spokesman traced the lacklustre performance of the retail sector to a more cautious consumer sentiment and moderate growth in visitor arrivals.
“The near-term performance of retail sales will likely remain subdued, as the weakened global and local economic outlook and other headwinds continue to weigh on consumption sentiment. The recent mass demonstrations, if continued, would also dent the retail business further,” continued the spokesman.