Jewellery retail in Hong Kong has yet to regain its former lustre as July sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts continued to lag behind pre-pandemic levels in 2019, latest government figures showed.
Data from the city’s Census and Statistics Department revealed that jewellery sales were up 27.1 per cent year on year to HKD3.2 billion (around US$411.44 million) in July 2021 but still down 42 per cent from HKD5.5 billion (around US$707.19 million) during the same period in 2019.
The pace of growth also slowed compared to jewellery sales in June, which recorded a year-on-year increase of 32 per cent.
Overall retail sales rose 3 per cent in July from a year ago as the local Covid-19 situation continued to stabilise while the labour market, which took a beating at the height of the pandemic, also saw improvements.
The Hong Kong government also introduced a consumption scheme aimed at supporting local retailers and boosting consumer sales.
“The electronic consumption vouchers that the government began to disburse in August have helped stimulate consumption sentiment and will render support to the retail business in the rest of the year,” a government spokesman was quoted as saying. “Yet, it is essential for the community to keep the epidemic under control and strive towards more widespread vaccination.”