Hong Kong January retail sales fall 14,6%
Hong Kong’s retail sales by value fell 14.6% in January 2015 from a year earlier, partly distorted by the different timing of Lunar New Year, which fell in mid-February this year and in late January last year, the Census and Statistics Department said Tuesday. The decline was worse than December’s 4.0% decrease and the median 5.5% fall forecast by three economists surveyed earlier by The Wall Street Journal.
The yuan fell on Monday to its lowest level since October 2012 versus the Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the U.S. currency. A weaker yuan makes overseas products more expensive to mainland shoppers, who account for about a third of all retail sales in the former British colony. Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying said last month the government is considering whether to restrict the number of mainland visitors amid protests against overcrowding in towns near the border.