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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

August cloudier than usual

August was cloudier than usual, the Hong Kong Observatory said today.   The mean amount of cloud in the month was 77%, higher than the normal figure of 70%.   With localised heavy rain over some parts of the New Territories, the monthly rainfall was 350.5mm, about 23% below the normal figure.   The accumulated rainfall in the first eight months of the year was 1,521.1mm, about 21% less than the normal figure for the same period.   The monthly mean temperature of 28.8 degrees Celsius was close to the normal figure of 28.7 degrees.   Mainly attributing to the exceptionally hot weather in July, the mean temperature from June to August this year reached 29.1 degrees Celsius, the sixth highest on record for the same period.   Affected by the rainbands associated with tropical storm Lupit, there were occasional heavy showers and squally thunderstorms in the city from August 3 to 5.   With plenty of sunshine, the temperature soared to 34.4 degrees on August 25, the highest of the month.   During the thunderstorms on the morning of August 27, the temperature dropped to a minimum of 23.4 degrees, the lowest of the month.   Four tropical cyclones occurred over the South China Sea and the western North Pacific in August.
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