HK sees solid uptick in H1 jewellery sales
Upbeat consumer sentiment and rising tourist arrivals in Hong Kong lifted retail sales of jewellery and other luxury items during the first half of 2023.
Latest data from the city’s Census and Statistics Department showed sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts were up 74.2 per cent to HK$30.4 billion (around US$3.89 billion) from January to June while end-June figures showed a 64.3 per cent rise to HK$5.55 billion (approximately US$711.15 million).
Overall retail sales registered a 20.7 per cent increase in the first six months of the year. In June, sales were up 19.6 per cent.
"The value of total retail sales continued to rise notably in June over a year earlier thanks to the recovery of inbound tourism and positive consumption sentiment," explained the government.
Retail outlook is also favourable, backed by a continued increase in visitor arrivals, improved labour market conditions and various government-led measures to boost Hong Kong's economic recovery.
Hong Kong’s first-half exports performance, in contrast, was lacklustre, with the jewellery sector recording a double-digit decline in June.
Government data showed shipments of jewellery, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares rose 0.9 per cent year on year to HK$115.37 billion (approximately US$14.79 billion) from January to June this year, but was down 10.2 per cent in June. This followed a series of positive exports results for this category over the last few months.
Total exports fell 15.5 per cent in the first half of 2023 compared with the same period last year. In June alone, an 11.4 per cent decrease to HK$337.4 billion (approximately US$43.25 billion) was recorded.
For the first half of 2023, exports to China, the US and the European Union all shrank while those to other major Asian markets saw varying levels of decline. However, Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates recorded an increase of 10.8 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively.
The Hong Kong government said the city’s export performance is expected to face intense pressure in the near term due to continued global economic slowdown.