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Hong Kong retailers hit hard by pro-democracy protests


economy

Hong Kong retailers hit hard by pro-democracy protests

Hong Kong shopkeepers are warning the democracy protests there are costing them dear.

The local Retail Management Association says sales at chain stores fell between 30 and 45 percent last week in the effected districts – Admiralty and Central, as well as the nearby shopping district of Causeway Bay.

Sales fell just as sharply in Kowloon’s working class district of Mong Kok, scene of some of the most violent clashes between protesters and police and pro-Beijing groups.

October is an important shopping month that includes the Golden Week National Day holiday period.

Many Hong Kong businesses were already struggling before these demonstrations, according to surveys carried out by HSBC and Markit Group.

The latest monthly survey was released on Tuesday and showed new business fell for the fifth straight month in September, while firms reduced staffing levels for the sixth consecutive month. The rate of job shedding was the quickest in four months.

The protests have also helped wipe the equivalent of around 40 billion euros off the value of shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The World Bank has said the protests were hurting Hong Kong’s economy, although the impact on China was limited.

with Reuters

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