HONG KONG, Jan. 3(AP) --Retail sales in Hong Kong grew by 4.2 percent in November from the same month in 2004, reflecting the improving job market and continued tourism growth, the government said Tuesday.
The territory recorded total retail sales of 15.8 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$2.0 billion; €1.7 billion) in November, the government said in a statement.
The growth was slightly slower than the 4.8 percent increase recorded in October.
Sales of fuels led the increase, jumping in volume by 8.3 percent on year, followed by sales of footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories, the statement said.
A government spokesman noted that consumer demand stayed firm in November, although "consumer sentiment might have turned more cautious more recently in face of the interest rate hikes and the consolidation of the property market."
The spokesman said a rise in wages, an optimistic economic outlook and the continuous expansion of inbound tourism should provide support to retail sales.
Economists expect retail sales to keep expanding steadily in coming months as local consumption and tourist demand are likely to remain supportive.