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1.8% inflation in October

Overall consumer prices rose 1.8% in October year-on-year, smaller than the 4.4% increase in September, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of the Government's one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.7%, slightly less than September's 1.8%.   Compared with October last year, price increases were recorded for electricity, gas and water; clothing and footwear; meals out and takeaway food; basic food; alcoholic drinks and tobacco; transport; miscellaneous services, miscellaneous goods and housing.   On the other hand, a year-on-year decrease in price was recorded for durable goods.    The Government said that underlying consumer price inflation remained moderate in October.   The year-on-year increase in food prices showed some moderation, though remained relatively fast. Prices of clothing and footwear continued to record a visible increase, while those of energy-related items rose sharply. Price pressur

June retail sales up 5.8%

The value of total retail sales in June, provisionally estimated at $28.1 billion, rose 5.8% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in June, online sales accounted for 8.1%. Provisionally estimated at $2.3 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 63.8% year-on-year.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month increased 2.8% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified increased 16%.   This was followed by sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+31.8% in value); wearing apparel (+18.8%); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (+10.6%); medicines and cosmetics (+8.9%); motor vehicles and parts (+36%); fuels (+5.1%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+10.8%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+6.8%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 7% for the period, followed by sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-1.6% in value); commodities in department stores (-20.3% in value); furniture and fixtures (-3.6%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (-1.8%) and optical shops (-2.7%).   The Government said that retail sales further increased in June on a year-on-year basis as consumption demand revived further alongside the stable local epidemic and improved labour market situations.   For the second quarter as a whole, retail sales volume grew by 3.6% over the preceding quarter after seasonal adjustment, but it still stayed far below the pre-recession level with incoming visitors remaining scant.   Looking ahead, the Government pointed out that the Consumption Voucher Scheme will help stimulate local consumer sentiment and provide support to the retail sector.   To create conditions for further improvement in retail business and a broader based economic recovery, it is essential for the community to keep the epidemic under control and strive towards more widespread vaccination, it added.
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