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More HZMB private car quotas set

The governments of Hong Kong and Macau have agreed to increase the regular quotas for Hong Kong cross-boundary non-commercial private cars using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to Macau, the Transport Department announced today.   The decision was made to enhance traffic flow between Hong Kong and Macau, better utilising the bridge, the department said.   It will increase the Hong Kong quota by 1,000, following the earlier quota allocation of 1,800 for Hong Kong.   The additional quota will be distributed in two phases from the second quarter.   Half of the additional 1,000 quota allocations is for company applicants and the other half is for individual applicants. The quotas are valid for no more than three years. The eligibility criteria of quota applications remains the same.   Private cars allocated with Hong Kong quotas will be permitted to access the city of Macau multiple times using the bridge.   The Hong Kong quota allotments will be re-allocated upon expiry thro

August retail sales up 11.9%

The value of total retail sales in August, provisionally estimated at $28.6 billion, rose 11.9% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in August, online sales accounted for 7.4%. Provisionally estimated at $2.1 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 16.5% year-on-year.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month increased 10.6% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts increased 28%.   This was followed by sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (+10.1% in value); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+1.3%); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+30.7%); commodities in department stores (+7.5%); wearing apparel (+35.7%); medicines and cosmetics (+13.6%); fuels (+21%); furniture and fixtures (+6.5%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+27.9%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+62.3%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+26.7%); and optical shops (+60.4%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 8% for the period, followed by sales of motor vehicles and parts (-0.4% in value).   The Government said the year-on-year growth in the value of total retail sales picked up notably in August, thanks to the boost from the Consumption Voucher Scheme (CVS). The stable local epidemic and improved labour market conditions also contributed.   Looking ahead, the Government noted that the CVS should continue to bode well for local consumption sentiment in the rest of the year.   Nevertheless, keeping the epidemic under control remains pivotal to a full-fledged recovery of the retail sector and the overall economy. It is thus essential for the community to strive towards more widespread vaccination, it added.
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