HK retail sales up 20.7 pct in April

  The total retail sales value in April, provisionally estimated at 43.1 billion HK dollars (5.55 billion U.S. dollars), rose 20.7 percent over a year earlier, the Census & Statistics Department of Hong Kong said Thursday.
  After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the total retail sales volume increased 19.4 percent.
  The revised estimate of total retail sales value in March grew 9.8 percent over the same period a year earlier, while the total retail sales volume rose 10.1 percent.
  For the first four months of the year, total retail sales increased 15.5 percent in value and 15.1 percent in volume over the same period a year earlier.
  Analyzed by broad type of retail outlet and comparing April 2013 with April 2012, the volume of sales of jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 68.8 percent. This was followed by sales of miscellaneous consumer durable goods (44.8 percent in volume); commodities in department stores (21.6 percent) ; Chinese drugs and herbs (15.8 percent); medicines and cosmetics (12 percent); optical shops (9 percent); fuels (6.2 percent); motor vehicles and parts (4.8 percent); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (4.4 percent); wearing apparel (4.3 percent); commodities in supermarkets (2.4 percent); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (2.4 percent); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (0.4 percent).
  The department said retail sales picked up strongly on a year- on-year basis in April, with the major boost provided by a surge in sales of the jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts outlets, due to a spike in gold-related sales during the month.
  It expects the largely stable labor market conditions and buoyant inbound tourism to remain supportive for the retail business in the near term.