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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

Legality of DC election upheld

The Court of First Instance dismissed the judicial review application on the legality of the District Council election on December 1, holding that the three District Committees’ nomination requirement is consistent with the Basic Law.
In a statement, the Government said the court accepted its viewpoints, including confirming that members of the three District Committees come from various walks of life in society and are important stakeholders of district affairs, and that there are no other entities or individuals which are more suitable than the members of three District Committees to exercise the nomination rights.
The court expressly accepted the legitimate aims of the three District Committees’ nomination requirement, namely to fully implement the guiding principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" in the system; to ensure the candidates are recognised by people conversant with district affairs and the relevant district electors; and to enhance stability across the political spectrum and better reflect the opinions of the majority of people, the Government pointed out.
The court also held that the three District Committees’ nomination requirement is a proportionate restriction to the rights to vote and agreed that members of the three District Committees will not exercise the nomination rights arbitrarily, it added.
The Government reiterated that the election for the 7th-term District Council is lawful and reasonable, and an important poll which fully takes into account the interest of the people of each district, which was passed by the Legislative Council unanimously and is popularly supported by people.
It stressed that the election on December 10 is highly meaningful and will return passionate, capable and responsible District Council members who love the country and Hong Kong and will fully serve people in the district with handling issues of public concern such as district hygiene, transportation, and cultural and leisure issues.
The Government stated that it urges the people to actively cast their votes in an effort to build a beautiful home.

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