Hong Kong’s ongoing inbound tourism rally saw retail sales grow for the 12th consecutive month in November, according to official data published on Thursday.

Sales rose 15.9% year-on-year to US$4.38 billion in November, according to the Hong Kong government. This compares to 5.8% growth in October, 13% in September and 13.7% in August.

“An expected further recovery of inbound tourism should continue to benefit the retail sector,” according to a government spokesperson, who added that an ongoing improvement in household income and various activities also bolstered Hong Kong’s economy.

Additionally, in terms of volume, retail sales in November rose 12.4% year-on-year, compared to a 2.9% increase in October, 10% in September and an 11% rise in August, Reuters news agency reports.

Between January and November last year, the value of retail sales increased 17.1% year-on-year, whilst volume rose 14.7%.

Furthermore, Hong Kong’s economy grew 4.1% in Q3 2023 compared to the previous year, surpassing 1.5% growth in Q2 and 2.9% growth in Q1.

Nevertheless, the government downwardly revised the economic growth forecast for the full year to 3.2% from a previous estimate of between 4.0% and 5.0%. In 2022, the economy contracted 3.5%, the Reuters report adds.

Moreover, visitor arrivals for November stood at 3.29 million, to bring the total for the first 11 months of 2023 to 30.07 million, as per preliminary data published by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

This compares to last year’s respective figures of 113,763 and 443,986, when China was in the midst of Covid restrictions.

The number of visitors from mainland China declined to 2.4 million in November from 2.7 million in October, as per the data. This compares to 58,694 in November 2022.

In addition, the sale of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts increased 60.8% year-on-year in November, following a 27.5% rise in October.

Meanwhile, sales of clothing, footwear, and accessories edged up 49.6% in November, after a 24.9% rise the month before.

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