Hong Kong Retail Sales Drop 14.6% in February After COVID-19 Resurgence

Hong Kong’s retail sales fell in February after 12 straight months of growth as a resurgence of COVID-19 infections forced the city into another slew of lockdowns.

Retail sales in February dropped by 14.6 percent from a year earlier to HK$25.2 billion ($3.22 billion), according to preliminary data released on Thursday.

The drop was the steepest since July 2020 when sales dropped 23.1 percent during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the local epidemic has shown signs of easing of late, the retail sector will continue to face notable pressure in the near term,” a government spokesman said.

Motor vehicles and parts suffered the most with a 23.1 percent decline in January and February 2022 combined, followed by clothing and electrical goods.

Meanwhile, supermarket products increased 8.2 percent during the same period, compared to a year earlier.

Hong Kong implemented its toughest health restrictions when the year started due to a dramatic spike in infections from the Omicron variant, closing down businesses and hurting the city’s economy,

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