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Business climate survey on restaurants & similar establishments and retail trade for March 2023

Information from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicated that receipts of the interviewed restaurants & similar establishments rose by 54.7% year-on-year in March 2023. All types of interviewed establishments registered a year-on-year rise in receipts, with Western Restaurants recording a notable growth of 125.7% and Chinese Restaurants posting an increase of 79.7%. In addition, sales of the interviewed retailers grew by 54.3% year-on-year in March. Sales of Watches, Clocks & Jewellery Retailers surged by 116.3%, and sales of Adults' Clothing Retailers and Cosmetics & Sanitary Articles Retailers swelled by 80.2% and 75.3% respectively; meanwhile, Motor Vehicle Retailers saw a 10.3% decrease in sales.

In comparison with February, receipts of the interviewed restaurants & similar establishments went up by 1.8% in March; receipts of Local Style Cafes, Congee & Noodle Shops rose by 9.3% whereas those of Japanese & Korean Restaurants dropped by 7.6%. Besides, sales of the interviewed retailers dipped by 4.1% month-on-month in March; retailers of Adults' Clothing, Watches, Clocks & Jewellery and Leather Goods reported sales decreases of 7.2%, 5.9% and 5.8% respectively, while Motor Vehicle Retailers recorded a sales growth of 10.9%.

As regards the business expectations for April, there were 33% of the interviewed restaurants & similar establishments expecting their receipts to decrease month-on-month; the corresponding shares for Chinese Restaurants and Western Restaurants were 41% and 30% respectively. On the other hand, 15% of the interviewed establishments predicted that their receipts would increase month-on-month in April. Meanwhile, about 30% of the interviewed retailers forecasted a month-on-month sales growth in April; the corresponding shares for Leather Goods Retailers and Motor Vehicle Retailers reached 60% and 46% respectively. By contrast, around 20% of the interviewed retailers expected a month-on-month sales decline in April.

The Business Outlook Index (BOI) that reflects the trend of month-on-month changes in receipts anticipated by the interviewed establishments was lower than 50 for restaurants & similar establishments (41.3), indicating that the interviewed establishments predicted a less favourable business outlook for April as compared to March. On the other hand, the index value for retail trade (54.9) was higher than 50, showing that the interviewed retailers foresaw better business prospects in April than in the previous month.

The sample of the Business Climate Survey on Restaurants & Similar Establishments and Retail Trade comprises 229 restaurants & similar establishments and 161 retailers, which accounted for 53.5% and 70.6% of the respective industry’s receipts in 2019. The Survey results were not extrapolated. The business performance in the reference month is reflected by the change in the receipts of the sampled establishments and retailers in the reference month as against the month of comparison. The value of the BOI ranges between 0 and 100; an index value above 50 implies that the industry has higher business expectations for the coming month as against the month of comparison, whereas an index value below 50 indicates the opposite.

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