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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

7.5m New Year passengers to transit

The Immigration Department today said it estimates that over 7.5 million passengers will pass through Hong Kong’s sea, land and air control points during the upcoming festive period from February 9 to 17.


The estimate was made in consultation with the Shenzhen General Station of Exit & Entry Frontier Inspection. The two parties estimate that around six million of the passengers will transit through land boundary control points.


The number of passengers using land boundary control points will be highest on February 11 and February 13, when around 461,000 outbound passengers and inbound 607,000 ones are expected.


Passenger traffic at the Lo Wu Control Point is expected to reach a daily average of about 170,000 passengers. Meanwhile, the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Control Point can expect around 158,000 and 105,000 passengers respectively.


To facilitate cross-boundary passenger and vehicle flows during the Lunar New Year holidays, two special arrangements will be implemented.


Firstly, from February 9 to 13, passenger and passenger vehicle clearance services at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point will operate around the clock.


Secondly, on February 9 and 11, passenger clearance services at the Lo Wu Control Point will be extended to 2am the next day.


These arrangements have been put in place after the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government reached agreement with the relevant Guangdong and Shenzhen authorities.


The department, along with Police, Customs and the MTR Corporation, will set up a joint command centre at the Lo Wu Control Point to make necessary arrangements.


The department will also establish close communication with the Mainland authorities and implement traffic diversion plans as necessary, in order to ensure smooth passenger traffic flows.


Residents and visitors may check the estimated waiting times for arrivals and departures at each land boundary control point via a dedicated mobile application.

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