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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

FS headed to Davos

Financial Secretary Paul Chan will depart for Davos in Switzerland tomorrow to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting from January 15 to 19.


Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau will participate in parts of the programme, along with a team from Hong Kong which includes Airport Authority Chairman Jack So, Exchanges & Clearing Chairman Laura Cha and MTR Corporation Chief Executive Officer Jacob Kam.


The WEF’s annual meeting, with "Rebuilding Trust" as its theme, will hold in-depth discussions on four areas: achieving security and co-operation for the world, creating growth and jobs, artificial intelligence as a driving force for the economy and society, long-term strategies for combatting climate change and achieving carbon neutrality.


Leaders of governments, representatives of major international organisations and the senior management of enterprises from over 100 countries and regions will attend the meeting.


Noting that the current geopolitical situation remains tense, with protectionism and decoupling sentiments rising high in individual countries, Mr Chan said the global economic outlook still faces many uncertainties with an uneven pace of post-epidemic recovery and growth.


“At such a time, countries should join hands to promote a more resilient global development, respond to imminent challenges such as climate change, and make development more equitable and inclusive."


During the WEF’s annual meeting, the Financial Secretary will attend and speak at several keynote meetings, luncheons and dinners. He also plans to meet political, business and financial leaders.


Mr Chan said that he and other members of the Hong Kong team will tell the good stories of Hong Kong and China and explain the economic and social development of Hong Kong, striving to clear doubts over the city.


“We will in particular explain the successful implementation and long-standing advantages of  the 'one country, two systems' principle as well as Hong Kong's unique role in connecting the Mainland and the world.


“We will also introduce our new advantages and measures in promoting the development of industries, and encourage businesses to establish a foothold and invest here."


During Mr Chan and Mr Yau’s absence, Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong and Under Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Bernard Chan will be acting in their capacity respectively.

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