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Anti-epidemic meeting held

A meeting on the anti-epidemic work of the Mainland and Hong Kong was held today in Shenzhen.   It was hosted by Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Deputy Director Huang Liuquan.   Chief Secretary John Lee led Hong Kong Special Administrative Region representatives to attend the meeting and exchange strategies with Mainland representatives on preventing and fighting COVID-19 as well as study the resumption of quarantine-free travel between the Mainland and Hong Kong.   Mr Huang noted that the office organised the meeting as the central government attaches great importance to the request by Chief Executive Carrie Lam on the resumption of quarantine-free travel with the Mainland.   Mr Lee thanked the central government for its support and care towards the Hong Kong SAR's efforts in preventing and fighting the virus, and for offering vital assistance on many occasions.   He also expressed gratitude to the office for arranging the meeting within a short

July retail sales up 2.9%

The value of total retail sales in July, provisionally estimated at $27.2 billion, rose 2.9% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in July, online sales accounted for 7.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.1 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 29% 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 0.9% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts increased 27.1%.   This was followed by sales of other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+15.8% in value); wearing apparel (+30.7%); medicines and cosmetics (+0.5%); motor vehicles and parts (+25%); fuels (+12.8%); furniture and fixtures (+0.6%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+9.8%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+30.5%); and optical shops (+8.9%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 19.4% for the period, followed by sales of commodities in department stores (-9.6% in value); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-5.7%); electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (-2.5%); and Chinese drugs and herbs (-2.3%).   The Government said that retail sales continued to increase in July over a year earlier as the local epidemic remained stable and labour market situations improved further, although the growth pace moderated as compared to the preceding month.   Looking ahead, the Government noted that the electronic consumption vouchers that it began to disburse in August have helped stimulate consumption sentiment and will render support to the retail business in the rest of the year.   However, it is essential for the community to keep the epidemic under control and strive towards more widespread vaccination so as to strengthen the foundation for continued recovery of the retail sector and the overall economy, it added.
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