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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

Electoral system briefings held

Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui today held three briefing sessions for the sports and culture sectors to explain the improvements to Hong Kong's electoral system.   The sessions enabled the stakeholders to have a better understanding of the approval by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of amendments to Annexes I and II of the Basic Law and render their support.   Mr Tsui said the improvements to Hong Kong's electoral system can accord with the city's actual situation and better attend to the society's overall interests, which enhances the governance of Hong Kong.   As such, the "one country, two systems" principle will continue to be implemented steadfastly, maintaining Hong Kong's advantages, he added.   Mr Tsui will conduct more sessions to brief various sectors, listen to their opinions and call on the community for their full support on the relevant amendments.
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