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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

January warm with a cold interlude

January was overall warmer than usual despite a very cold episode in the latter part of the month, the Hong Kong Observatory said today.

For most of the month, the northeast monsoon over the south China coast was generally weaker than normal.

The monthly mean maximum temperature of 20.5 degrees Celsius, monthly mean temperature of 17.9 degrees Celsius and monthly mean minimum temperature of 15.9 degrees Celsius were higher than normal and, respectively, the sixth, sixth and seventh highest on record for January. 

January was also drier than usual, with total rainfall of 6.7 mm reaching only about 20% of the normal level.

Under the influence of the northeast monsoon and the subsequent weak replenishments, Hong Kong’s weather was generally fine and mild during the day on the first 16 days of the month.

On January 21, winds strengthened gradually from the north and temperatures fell significantly.

Under the influence of the associated intense winter monsoon and with a broad band of clouds covering southern China, local temperatures fell further on January 22 and 23. 

The weather became very cold on January 23, with temperatures at the observatory dropping to a minimum of 6.3 degrees Celsius in the morning, the lowest of the month.

The temperature at Tai Mo Shan fell to a minimum of -2.9 degrees Celsius the same day. 

There were reports of ice at Tai Mo Shan on January 23 and 24.

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