HONG KONG, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's retail sales witnessed the largest decline on record in October as the prolonged social unrest continued to depress consumption sentiment and disrupt a wide range of sectors including tourism.
The value of total retail sales in October was provisionally estimated at 30.1 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 3.84 billion U.S. dollars), down by 24.3 percent from a year ago, according to a statement of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Monday.
A government spokesman attributed the plunge in October to the impact of violent incidents.
He pointed out that ending the violence and restoring social order are crucial to the creation of an environment for the retail business to recover and the government will closely monitor the situation and its repercussions on the labor market and the overall economy.
Sales of jewelry, watches and clocks and valuable gifts suffered the hardest blow, down by 42.9 percent year on year in October. Sales of wearing apparel and shoes tumbled about 37 percent, and sales of medicines and cosmetics fell 33.5 percent.
For the first 10 months, the value of total retail sales decreased 9 percent compared with the same period in 2018.