Hong Kong March retail sales fall 1.3 pct yr/yr

Fri May 2, 2014 4:44am EDT

May 2 (Reuters) - March retail sales data 
(percent change from a year earlier):
    
             _______2014_______  ___________2013__________
             Mar    Feb    Jan    Dec    Nov    Oct    Sep      
 Value:     -1.3   -2.2^  14.4    5.7    8.5    6.3    5.0    
 Volume:    -2.3   -2.1^  -2.3   16.7    6.1    9.1    5.9    
    
 ^ Revised

    CONTEXT:
    -- In the three months through March, the volume of sales
rose by 1.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, from the preceding
three months.
    -- For a breakdown of March retail sales click on 
 
    
    COMMENTARY:
     A government spokesman noted that the dip in retail sales
in March was mainly dragged by the fall-off in major big-ticket
items, the latter having shown notable growth in recent
quarters.
     The spokesman added that looking ahead, the favourable job
and income conditions, together with the sustained growth of
visitor arrivals, should provide some support to the retail
business in the near term. However, there's a need to closely
monitor whether the recent trend of moderation in retail
business would continue, and also whether the changes in
external economic environment and in visitor spending behaviour
would affect the performance of retail sales going forward.

    LINK:
    -- To view the full details of retail sales data, see the 
Hong Kong government website at: (link.reuters.com/zak98v)
    
    

 (Reporting by Twinnie Siu in HONG KONG; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
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