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13 building plans approved in Nov

The Buildings Department approved 13 building plans in November - two on Hong Kong Island, six in Kowloon and five in the New Territories.   Of the approved plans, eight were for apartment and apartment-commercial developments, two for commercial developments, one for factory and industrial developments, and two for community services developments.   Consent was given for works to start on 11 building projects which will provide 210,471 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 2,595 units and 83,060 sq m for non-domestic use.   Additionally, the department received notification of commencement of superstructure works for nine building projects.   The department also issued 16 occupation permits - three on Hong Kong Island, five in Kowloon and eight in the New Territories.   Buildings certified for occupation have 53,034 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 1,355 units and 168,627 sq m for non-domestic use. http://dlvr.it/Sh3Dtw

December retail sales up 6.2%

The value of total retail sales in December, provisionally estimated at $33.3 billion, rose 6.2% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in December, online sales accounted for 10.8%. Provisionally estimated at $3.6 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 31.5% 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 3.4% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified increased 5.5%.   This was followed by sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (+24% in value); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+10.8%); commodities in department stores (+2.5%); wearing apparel (+12%); medicines and cosmetics (+9.7%); motor vehicles and parts (+8.7%); fuels (+18.4%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+15.5%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+4.7%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+7.8%); and optical shops (+25.1%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 6.8% for the period, followed by sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-3% in value); and furniture and fixtures (-4.1%).   The Government said that the value of total retail sales increased further by 6.2% year-on-year in December along with the continued economic recovery, though the growth pace moderated somewhat from the preceding month. For 2021 as a whole, total retail sales value rose 8.1% but was still 27.2% below the level in 2018 before the recession as tourism stayed at a standstill.   Looking ahead, the Government noted that the latest wave of the local epidemic and tightened anti-epidemic measures have weighed on consumption sentiment and posed renewed pressures on the retail sector.   It is essential for the community to work together with the Government to contain the epidemic as soon as possible to create conditions for the continued revival of retail business and the overall economy, it added.
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