Hong Kong Feb retail sales fall 5.7 pct yr/yr

March 30 (Reuters) - February retail sales data

(percent change from a year earlier):

2017 2016

Feb Jan Dec Nov Oct Sep Aug

Value -5.7 -1.0^ -2.9 -5.4^ -2.9 -4.0 -10.5

Volume -6.1 -1.4 -2.9^ -5.5^ -2.7 -3.8 -11.0

^ Revised

CONTEXT:

-- In the three months through February, the volume of sales

was down by 3.9 percent, seasonally adjusted, from the preceding

three months.

COMMENTARY:

A government spokesman indicated that the performance of

retail sales was still constrained by a lack of growth in

tourist spending despite a modest recovery in visitor arrivals

in recent months. Taking the first two months of 2017 together

to neutralise the distortions by the timing of the Lunar New

Year, the volume of retail sales declined by 3.6 percent

year-on-year, similar to that in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Looking ahead, the performance of retail sales will depend

on the recovery pace of inbound tourism as well as whether

consumer sentiment will be affected by the various external

uncertainties. At present, local consumer sentiment remains well

underpinned by the prevailing favourable job and income

conditions. The government will continue to monitor the

situation closely.

LINK:

-- To view the full details of retail sales data, see the

Hong Kong government website at: http://bit.ly/2nlFzOu

(Reporting by Twinnie Siu in HONG KONG; Editing by Amrutha

Gayathri)