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Hong Kong December Retail Sales: Jewelry Still Does Not Shine

Hong Kong released December sales figure that showed a -4% y/y decline in sales, which was a sharp contrast to +4% increase in November. Volume was also weak, down -1.3% vs. a +7.6% growth in November. The December retail sales overall missed consensus of +4.4%. On a full-year basis, retail sales were down -0.2%, falling for the first time since 2003 which highlights the fragile HK economy due to the weakness in China. Jewelry was the laggard while department store showed moderate improvement in the y/y comps. Given the key exposure to Hong Kong for some US-listed names such as Tiffany (NYSE:TIF), Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) and Coach (NYSE:COH), I believe that HK retail sales give investors a good read-through to those…