Retail sales rose 19 per cent in February 2012 compared to a year ago. This excludes motor vehicles, where retail sales increased 7.7 per cent.
However, this was a seasonally adjusted decrease of two per cent compared to January 2012. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales decreased 1.8%.
Sales of food and beverage services increased 4.2 per cent in February this year compared to a year ago. Seasonally adjusted, this was an increase of 5.6 per cent increase in February 2012 compared to January.
Retail sales by sector
Retail sales of watches and jewellery and telecommunications apparatus and computers declined 11.5 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively in February 2012 from last year (seasonally adjusted).
Retailers of optical goods and books, furniture and household equipment and motor vehicles also recorded decreases of between 2.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent over the previous month.
However, retail sales of wearing apparel, footwear and food & beverages rose 7.6 per cent and 7 per cent respectively in February 2012.
Provision and sundry shops, supermarkets and department stores also registered increases in sales of between 2 per cent and 4.3 per cent compared to the previous month.
Retailers of motor vehicles reported strong year-on-year growth of 70.5 per cent in February this year compared to Feb 2011.
The growth was partly due to the low base effect with the Lunar New Year and hence fewer trading days in February last year.
Retailers of medical goods and toiletries and petrol service stations also recorded double-digit year-on-year growth in sales of 24.1 per cent and 19.3 per cent respectively.