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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

Over 9m holiday travellers expected

The Immigration Department estimates that 9.03 million passengers will pass through land, sea and air control points during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

 

About 83.5% of these travellers will pass through land boundary control points (BCPs).

 

The busiest day for outbound traffic is expected to be December 23, when about 549,000 passengers will leave Hong Kong, while inbound traffic is predicted to peak on December 26 when 626,000 passengers arrive in the city.

 

Passenger traffic at the Lo Wu, Lok Ma Chau Spur Line and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge control points will also be heavy, with daily averages of 217,000, 184,000 and 118,000 forecast.

 

To cope with the anticipated heavy traffic, the department has minimised leave for frontline officers to allow flexible deployment and operation of extra clearance counters and kiosks. Additional security guards will also be deployed to provide crowd management support.

 

Furthermore, the department will set up a joint command centre at Lo Wu Control Point together with Police, Customs and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, and will also establish close communication with Mainland frontier inspection authorities to ensure smooth passenger traffic flows.

 

Travellers are advised to plan their trips in advance and avoid making journeys during busy times.

 

They may check the expected busy times at BCPs on the department’s website and monitor estimated waiting times at all land BCPs via its mobile app.


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