Hong Kong retail sales have surged by 20.7% to $43.1bn on a year-on-year basis in April 2013, according to Census and Statistics Department (C&SD).

The volume of total retail sales increased by 19.4% during the same month, year-on-year.

For the first four months of 2013, total retail sales increased by 15.5% in value and 15.1% in volume in comparison to the same period in 2012.

Commenting on the report, Hong Kong government spokesperson stated that the strong retail performance during the month was driven by surge in sales of the jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts outlets, primarily due to the gold-related sales during
the period.

"Retail sales of other outlets, when taken altogether, also saw further solid growth in April," noted the spokesperson.

The volume of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts was up by 68.8% for April 2013.

Other sectors that have contributed to the significant growth include miscellaneous consumer durable goods (44.8%), commodities in department stores (21.6%) and medicines and cosmetics (12%).

Electrical goods and photographic equipment category recorded a drop of 2.5% in April 2013 compared to the similar month of previous year.

For the three months ending April 2013, the volume of total retail sales surged by 6.2% when compared with the preceding three-month period.

Stable labor market conditions along with growing tourist visits would be major factors for the growth of retail sector going forward, the
spokesperson added.

"However, the retail sales performance in individual months may be volatile. We also need to remain alert to how the external uncertainties as well as local factors such as the labour market and asset market developments may affect the retail business down the road."