Sales of jewellery and other luxury items in Hong Kong more than doubled in February compared to the same period last year, with January to February 2021 figures recording modest growth, government data showed. Retail sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts were up 114.1 per cent year on year in February and 3.2 per cent during the first two months of 2021. This demonstrated a sharp turnaround from January this year, which saw jewellery sales sinking by 31.6 per cent following a fourth wave of Covid-19 cases in the city. In 2020, jewellery sales fell by 54 per cent.
According to the city’s Census & Statistics Department, sales of all retail outlets in Hong Kong rose by 30 per cent in February 2021 and 2.7 per cent in January and February. The uptick reflected distortions caused by the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year as well as an exceptionally low base of comparison in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, explained the government. Retailers will however continue to face headwinds, owing to the absence of tourists in the city.
In a separate statement, the Hong Kong Retail Management Association said the Ching Ming Festival and Easter holiday from April 2 to 6 could spur local consumption but business is expected to remain subdued without tourist spending.