Retail sales in Hong Kong are expected to reach HK$34.5bn ($4.51bn) in May 2023.

According to data released by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), this figure is an increase of 18.4% compared to the same period in 2022.

During the month, the value of online retail sales is provisionally estimated at HK$2.2bn, representing 6.3% of the total sales.

The value of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts sales increased by 51.8% in May.

The sales of other unclassified consumer goods rose by 16.1% in value.

Sales of wearing apparel and commodities in department stores increased by 38.5% and 9.9%, respectively, during the month.

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In addition, sales of medicines and cosmetics grew by 51.5% in May.

Footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories also recorded a 17.9% growth in sales.

The C&SD data also revealed that commodities in supermarkets reported a sales drop of 0.2% in May 2023, compared to the prior year period.

Sales of electrical goods and other unclassified consumer durable goods also declined in value by 5.6%.

A government spokesman said: “The value of total retail sales continued to increase visibly in May over a year earlier thanks to the revival of inbound tourism and positive consumption sentiment.

“Retail sales should continue to improve in the coming months. The number of incoming visitors should continue to increase as transportation and handling capacity expand further. Local consumption demand will continue to be supported by the improved labour market conditions, disbursement of the second instalment of consumption vouchers and promotional efforts by the Government and the industry.”

The value of total retail sales for the first five months combined also increased by 21.0% compared with the corresponding period in 2022.

The revised estimate of the value of total retail sales in April 2023 increased by 14.9% while online retail sales decreased by 13.2% during the month.