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Hong Kong Aug. Jewelry Sales Jump
32%, Economy +6% in 1H07

Consumers enjoy rising incomes, strong job market

6/10/07. Hong Kong retail sales grew 15 percent to HKD 20.6 billion ($2.65
billion) in August 2007 spurred by a rise in jewelry spending.

The government said growth was accelerated by rising incomes, tourist
spending and better job prospects in Hong Kong.

Jewelry and watch sales rose 31.8 percent for the month, compared with
August 2006, second only to electronic equipment sales which grew 37.7
percent. Other growth markets were footwear and clothing accessories
which increased 19.5 percent, and motor vehicles and auto parts where
sales rose 15.7 percent.

According to a report by Thomson Financial however, the total growth was
slightly lower than the 15 percent forecast by economists polled by
Thomson IFR.

"The trend of higher retail sales will continue in coming months, especially
in the last quarter because of the Christmas season," Thomson quoted
Daniel Chan, a senior investment strategist at DBS Bank in Hong Kong, as
saying.

"The main driving force continues to be domestic consumption and
tourism," he said.

The Hong Kong economy grew 6.3 percent in the first half of 2007.