|By ACN Newswire||
|December 31, 2013 02:45 AM EST||
HKTDC Study Indicates a More Favourable Outlook for 2014
Hong Kong, Dec 31, 2013 - (ACN Newswire) - There was plenty of Christmas cheer in this year's holiday sales, according to a Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) report. Sales were up in both traditional markets, particularly the United States, and emerging markets, according to the HKTDC, which released its findings today at a press conference.
Under the backdrop of economic recovery and a robust stock market, holiday sales in the United States were up three per cent to four per cent, year-on-year. Holiday sales in Japan are expected to have grown by about two per cent. Christmas sales in the European Union improved overall. But while Germany and the United Kingdom were bright spots, sales in France and Italy were less so. Emerging markets such as the Chinese mainland, Latin America and the Middle East performed well.
Overall, consumer electronics were the most popular purchases, with good growth, as well, in the sales of jewellery and other luxury products.
Retail sales during the Christmas season are a sound indicator of consumer sentiment and preferences, giving a valuable pointer to the retail business in the year ahead. HKTDC Principal Economist (Global Research) Daniel Poon noted that, while an incipient global economic recovery will support consumer consumption, a cautious mood will continue to prevail. "Value-for-money," he said, "will continue to be the most important factor for most shoppers, with more and more of them using the Internet to find product information and compare prices. Importers and retailers are still expected to play it safe regarding order size, lead time and pricing, while looking to e-tailing to shore up sales and diversify their sourcing."
While Hong Kong exporters should focus on traditional markets, Mr Poon said they should also continue to make inroads into such emerging markets as Latin America and Eastern Europe. He added that the mainland, where the government is promoting consumption, should open up new dimensions for Hong Kong companies. As for specific markets, the HKTDC study had this to say:
-- Retailers offered ever-deeper discounts and extended their business hours to boost sales.
-- Continuing rebounds in the housing and job markets, plus rallying stock prices and cheaper gasoline bills, helped shaped a festive atmosphere.
-- Consumer electronics were among the biggest draws, with smart phones, tablets, TVs and cameras topping the list of stocking stuffers. Along with game consoles and related software, classic toys such as Barbie and Lego were also popular.
-- Christmas sales in the UK are expected to have increased by two per cent to three per cent, thanks to extensive discounts and promotions.
-- Holiday sales in Germany are estimated to have risen by more than one per cent, thanks largely to a decent labour market and rising wages.
-- Clothing and footwear sales in the UK and Germany were hampered by the mild weather.
-- Consumer electronics, spearheaded by smartphones and tablets, were a popular buy. Sales of toys, however, were hurt by a lack of hit items.
-- Price cuts were not as deep as last year.
-- While Christmas is not traditionally celebrated, it has caught on in urban areas and increasingly in rural areas. The online spending binge on Singles' Day stole some sales away from Christmas, and the closeness of the Lunar New Year also weighed on Christmas sales.
Other Emerging Markets
-- In Brazil, Christmas sales were up. Chile was buoyed by an influx of Argentine buyers.
-- As for Central and Eastern Europe, a reviving EU economy was a boon to festive spending, with growth in Christmas sales generally recorded across the region.
For the full report, please visit: http://bit.ly/1kXCgqP
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 12 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.
HKTDC Corporate Communication Department Carrie Lee Tel: +852 2584 4238 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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