Hong Kong April retail sales fall 9.8 pct yr/yr

Tue Jun 3, 2014 4:43am EDT

June 3 (Reuters) - April retail sales data 
(percent change from a year earlier):
    
            __________ 2014__________   ________2013______
             Apr    Mar    Feb    Jan    Dec    Nov    Oct    
 Value:     -9.8   -1.5^  -2.2   14.4    5.7    8.5    6.3    
 Volume:    -9.5   -2.5^  -2.1   -2.3   16.7    6.1    9.1    
    
 ^ Revised

    CONTEXT:
    -- In the three months through April, the volume of sales
was down by 6.4 percent, seasonally adjusted, from the preceding
three months.
    -- For a breakdown of April retail sales click on 
 
    
    COMMENTARY:
    A government spokesman said that the notable fall in retail
sales in April was mainly due to the plunge in the sales of
jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts. Apart from a
high base of comparison caused by a spike in gold related sales
a year earlier, the fall-off in April may also partly reflect
some moderation in visitor spending after a prolonged period of
brisk growth. Meanwhile, sales of many other goods that are more
closely related to local consumption actually held firm,
reflecting the still positive local consumer sentiment amid full
employment.
    The spokesman added that looking ahead, the favourable job
and income conditions should provide some support to local
consumer sentiment, but the near-term outlook of retail sales
business will continue to be clouded by the base effects and the
changing visitor spending pattern.
    
    LINK:
    -- To view the full details of retail sales data, see the 
Hong Kong government website at: link.reuters.com/xut79v
    
    

 (Reporting by Twinnie Siu in HONG KONG; Editing by Matt
Driskill)