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HK retail sales up 6.8% in 2005

  HONG KONG, Feb. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Hong Kong's retail sales for 2005 increased by 6.8 percent in value or 5.9 percent in volume, as compared with 2004, the Census and Statistics Department said on Thursday. 

  The sales of electrical goods and photographic equipment rose by 13.1 percent in volume in 2005, the department said in a press release.

  The growth was attributed to sales of wearing apparel, miscellaneous consumer goods and department stores commodities.

  However, the volume of sales of motor vehicles and parts dropped by 0.5 percent in 2005, according to the department.

  The department's statistics also indicated that Hong Kong's retail sales in December 2005 rose by 6.9 percent in value over a year earlier, reaching an estimated 19.3 billion HK dollars (2.49 billion U.S. dollars),

  The department said the overall retail sales volume showed a faster year-on-year increase in December, indicating that consumer sentiment was fairly strong during the festive season.

  Despite the higher interest rates, consumption spending should continue to fare well on the back of the optimistic economic and employment outlook, the increase in labor income, and inbound tourism's continuous expansion, the department added.

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