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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

Anti-epidemic rule violations probed

The Home Affairs Department's Office of the Licensing Authority and the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department today conducted a joint investigation into suspected violations of anti-epidemic regulations at the Hong Kong Scout Centre in Jordan.   The investigation was conducted in accordance with the Prevention & Control of Disease (Requirements & Directions) (Business & Premises) Regulation and the Prevention & Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation.   According to recent media reports, the person responsible for a clubhouse at the centre on 8 Austin Road was suspected of not complying with relevant requirements and directions issued by the Secretary for Food & Health in relation to clubhouses on April 10 and had arranged a banquet of more than 20 people.   Moreover, patrons who had organised a banquet at the centre for about 100 guests on the same day, were suspected of violating the relevant restrictions on group gatherings.   The Home Affairs Department urged those who had joined the banquet on April 10 and other people in the know to come forward and contact the Office of the Licensing Authority at 2881 7498 to provide relevant information to assist in the investigation.   Depending on the progress of the investigation, the authority may consider further legal action, including listing the people as wanted and/or instigating prosecution.   The authority will continue to proactively take stringent enforcement action and step up inspections at clubhouses across the city to ensure that those responsible for the premises and the patrons strictly comply with relevant provisions in the regulations for the prevention and control of diseases.
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