Hong Kong Retail Sales Plunge as Chinese Visitor Arrivals Slow

WWD

(Bloomberg) − Hong Kong’s January retail sales fell by the most since April 2003 as Chinese tourist arrivals slowed and expenditure in the previous year was boosted by holidays.

Retail sales by value plunged 14.6 percent in January from a year earlier, according to government data released Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had a median estimate for a 6.1 percent decline.

“The negative impact of slowing Chinese growth on Hong Kong is becoming more obvious,” said Mole Hau, an economist with BNP Paribas SA in Hong Kong. “I don’t think the downtrend of Hong Kong retail sales is going to reverse anytime soon.”

A slowdown in the Chinese economy and President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption and extravagance by officials are crimping tourist spending and hurting luxury retailers in Hong Kong. The sale of jewelry, watches and luxury items dropped by 21.4 percent in January from a year ago, the…

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