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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

Cross-boundary traffic a concern: TD

The Transport Department today expressed its concern over the long waiting time for cross-boundary visitors in the early hours of New Year’s Day, stressing it will review the situation and take follow-up action.
In anticipation of a large number of visitors returning to the Mainland overnight after the Hong Kong New Year Countdown Celebrations, and based on the department’s recommendations, the service operators had already increased the number of vehicles to serve passengers.


For example, the service headway at Prince Edward was increased from every 15 minutes to every 10 minutes to cope with the demand of such visitors.
The department pointed out that on New Year’s Eve, the number of visitor arrivals to Hong Kong was over 220,000, the highest one-day figure in 2023. Moreover, the countdown fireworks display over Victoria Harbour attracted more than 479,000 people who watched the pyrotechnics on both sides of the harbour.
Apart from closely monitoring the traffic situation in various districts after midnight, the department noted that it has maintained liaison with local and cross-boundary transport operators to facilitate the dispersal of local residents and cross-boundary visitors as soon as possible.
However, as Huanggang Control Point was the only place that maintained passenger clearance service between Hong Kong and Shenzhen after midnight, and as the number of outbound travellers was higher than expected, the queue of vehicles extended from Huanggang Control Point to San Tin Highway.
Consequently, visitors had to wait for a longer time for cross-boundary coaches in the urban area, despite the fact that additional vehicles were deployed.
The department added that it will follow up on the incident with relevant departments and service operators, with a view to providing better service arrangements for cross-boundary visitors.

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