HONG KONG, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's retail sales continued to slump in May, pointing to an economy yet to recover from the social unrest last year and the COVID-19 epidemic.
The value of total retail sales in May was provisionally estimated at 26.8 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 3.46 billion U.S. dollars), down 32.8 percent from a year ago, data of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government showed Tuesday.
A government spokesman said that retail sales continued to fall sharply in May from a year earlier as inbound tourism remained at a standstill and job and income conditions were still weak.
Nonetheless, the decline narrowed further from that in April thanks to the stabilized local epidemic situation and consequential easing of social distancing measures, the spokesman said.
Of all, sales of jewelry, watches and clocks and valuable gifts suffered the largest year-on-year decline at 69.7 percent in May, followed by 62 percent for medicines and cosmetics and 39.7 percent for shoes and other clothing accessories.
In the first five months, Hong Kong's retail sales fell 34.8 percent year on year.
The business environment for retail trade remains difficult amid austere labor market conditions and the travel restrictions in place, the spokesman said, adding that the government will monitor the developments closely. Enditem