Finance

The raging protests in Hong Kong have its retail sector shrinking the most in history

  • Hong Kong’s retail sector posted its largest year-over-year decline on record in October as ongoing protests hamper the city’s economy. 
  • According to data released by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department on Monday, the value of retail sales declined 24% in October from the same month last year. 
  • The city entered a recession for the first time since since the financial crisis in October after reporting GDP contracted by 3.2% in the third quarter. 
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Months of protests have sent Hong Kong’s retail sector into a downward spiral. 

The value of retail sales experienced its largest drop in history in October, cratering 24% from the same period last year, according to data published by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department on Monday. 

Sales of luxury goods such as watches, clocks, and jewelry tumbled 43%, while department-store sales declined 31%. Furniture sales decreased the least out of any reported category, sliding 8.2% from the same period last year. 

October includes “Golden Week,” a Chinese holiday break stretching from the first of the month to the seventh. The break is typically a popular time for mainland Chinese to travel and spend money, but many have avoided going to Hong Kong amid the ongoing unrest. 

The city has been upended by intensifying pro-democracy protests in recent months. Hong Kong fell into a recession for the first time in more than a decade in October after recording a GDP contraction of 3.2% for the third quarter. 

Fitch Ratings slashed the city’s credit status in September, warning the protests may cause “long-lasting damage” to the economy. 

The demonstrations began in June over an extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be tried in mainland China. The proposed bill was withdrawn in September, but the protests have continued. 

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