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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

Civil service pay report received

The Civil Service Bureau said that the Government today received Report No. 66 of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries & Conditions of Service, which sets out the recommendation of not proceeding with Stage 2 of the 2019 Civil Service Pay Level Survey.


After considering the standing commission's recommendations as well as the views of stakeholders and relevant factors, the Chief Executive-in-Council will make a decision on the way forward for the pay level survey.


The commission has completed Stage 1 of the survey and made its assessment and recommendations on whether to proceed with Stage 2 in the report.


The bureau said that as the decision of whether to proceed with Stage 2 of the survey may have implications on the civil service as a whole in future, the Government will consult the staff side, the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries & Conditions of Service, the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries & Conditions of Service and the Legislative Council Panel on Public Service.


In accordance with the improved pay adjustment mechanism implemented since 2007, civil service pay is compared with market pay through three different types of surveys: the six-yearly pay level survey; the annual pay trend survey to ascertain the year-on-year pay adjustment movements in the private sector; and the Starting Salaries Survey as and when necessary in response to specific circumstances.


The standing commission decided in 2020 to accept the Government's invitation to conduct a new round of the civil service pay level survey and resolved to adopt a two-stage approach.


Stage 1 comprises the necessary groundwork, including to review and set the survey methodology and scope, to compile the list of civil service benchmark jobs and to ascertain the major responsibilities of relevant jobs.


In Stage 2, pay related data will be collected from the private sector for analysis and formulation of recommendations.

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