HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s retail sales fell by a record 44% in February from a year earlier, as travel restrictions kept tourists away and residents avoided shopping centres to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The spending drought has hit an economy already in recession after months of often violent anti-government protests.
For the month of February, sales dropped to HK$22.7 billion (2.38 billion pounds), government data showed on Tuesday, the 13th consecutive month of decline. January’s fall was a revised 21.5%.
In volume terms, retail sales in February fell 46.7%, compared with a revised 23.1% drop in January.
Reporting by Donny Kwok and Twinnie Siu; Editing by Marius Zaharia and Alex Richardson