Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Herlina Kartika
KONTAN.CO.ID - HONG KONG. Hong Kong's retail sales extended their freefall in December as months of often violent anti-government protests scared off tourists and shoppers, hitting spending and threatening the survival of many businesses.
Over the festive period, protesters roamed through prime shopping malls and clashed with police, forcing many stores to close early on repeated occasions.
Retail sales in December fell 19.4% from a year earlier, government data showed on Tuesday, against a revised 23.7% drop in November and a 24.4% fall in October, which was the steepest on record.
For the whole of 2019, sales fell 11.1% from a year earlier to HK$431.2 billion ($55.51 billion). Volume fell 12.3%.
Analysts say the figures are likely to get worse in coming months as a new coronavirus outbreak in mainland China has emptied shopping centres and closed down tourist attractions. Hong Kong, which relies heavily on spending by mainland visitors, has taken measures to reduce the flow of people crossing the border.
Retail sales fell to HK$36.2 billion in December, the 11th consecutive month of decline. In volume terms, retail sales in December fell 21.0%, compared with a revised 25.5% drop in November.
"The business environment for retail trade has become even more difficult recently, with the threat of the novel coronavirus infection heavily weighing on inbound tourism and local consumption sentiment," a government spokesman said.
Hong Kong sank into recession for the first time in a decade last year, as the city plunged into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.