Information from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicated that the business of restaurants & similar establishments and retailers remained sluggish in March 2020. There were 97% of the interviewed restaurants & similar establishments recording a year-on-year decline in receipts in March, representing a slight decrease of 1 percentage point from February. All of the interviewed Chinese Restaurants and 98% of the Local Style Cafes, Congee & Noodle Shops showed a year-on-year drop in receipts, the same proportions as in February. The corresponding share of Japanese & Korean Restaurants (94%) fell by 6 percentage points. On the other hand, only 2% of the interviewed establishments reported a year-on-year rise in receipts in March, the same level as in February.
As regards retail trade, there were 87% of the interviewed retailers registering a year-on-year sales decrease in March, a rise of 3 percentage points over the preceding month. All of the interviewed retailers of Leather Goods, Watches, Clocks & Jewellery, Adults’ Clothing and Cosmetics & Sanitary Articles reported a year-on-year sales decline in March. The corresponding proportion of Department Stores remained at 91%, while that of Motor Vehicle Retailers dropped by 11 percentage points to 44%. Meanwhile, the share of interviewed retailers recording a year-on-year sales rise in March fell by 3 percentage points from February to 10%.
Affected by the ongoing epidemic, the interviewed restaurants & similar establishments and retailers generally held a bleak outlook for their business in April, with 56% of the interviewed restaurants & similar establishments and 62% of the retailers expecting a year-on-year decline of 50% or more in receipts. Among the interviewed establishments and retailers, there were 80% or more of the Western Restaurants, Chinese Restaurants, retailers of Leather Goods, Adults’ Clothing, Watches, Clocks & Jewellery and Cosmetics & Sanitary Articles predicting that their receipts in April would decrease by 50% or more year-on-year.
The sample of the Business Climate Survey on Restaurants & Similar Establishments and Retail Trade was selected based on the value of receipts of the establishments, comprising 186 restaurants & similar establishments (accounting for 53% of the industry’s receipts) and 135 retailers (accounting for 70% of the industry’s receipts). The Survey results were not extrapolated and only reflect the assessment of the business performance and expectations of the sample restaurants and retailers.
(Statistics and Census Service)
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