Hong Kong’s retail sales jumped by a record 40.9% in March from a year earlier, helping to pull the local economy out of recession.
Provisional figures released by the Census and Statistics Department on Thursday showed retail sales grew to HK$33.6 billion (US$4.28 billion) in March, year on year, slightly more than February’s total of HK$33.1 billion.
Sales by value gained 31.% in February, already the fastest pace in more than a decade. March’s figures surpassed that increase, marking the quickest jump dating back to the start of records in the early 2000s.
By volume, sales grew 39.4% from a year earlier, slightly higher than expectations.
The further recovery of the tourism industry, as well as private consumption, “should continue to benefit the retail sector” and a new round of consumption vouchers should “render further support,” a government spokesperson said in a release.
An influx of tourists has boosted demand. Visitor arrivals surged to some 2.5 million in March, up 68% from February and the figure is expected to increase further this month after the city received more than 625,000 visits from mainland Chinese travelers during the Labor Day holidays, showed immigration data.