Restaurant and retail performance falls short in October

Hospitality venue and retail trade slackened in October 2021, attributable to the import-related Covid-19 cases reported between late September and early October, information from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicates.

Approximately 76% of the interviewed restaurants and similar establishments showed a year-on-year decline in receipts in October, up from 33% in 2020. Interviewed retailers recording a year-on-year decline in receipts increased by 53 percentage points to 78%. The Business Performance Index (BPI) ratings – which reflects trends in year-on-year changes in business receipts – for hospitality (17.4) and retail (19.4) were both lower than 50, implying that the business performance of these two industries in October was less satisfactory compared to October 2020.

Regarding business expectations for November, the proportion of interviewed restaurants and similar establishments expecting an increase in their receipts on the previous month was 51%, a significant rise from the just 2% at the end of September. This reflects the gradual easing of the pandemic in late October. Meanwhile, 55% of the interviewed retailers forecasted a sales increase in November, a growth of 36 percentage points from the preceding month. The Business Outlook Index (BOI) – which reflects the trend of month-on-month changes in receipts anticipated by interviewed establishments – was higher than 50 for both restaurants and similar establishments (68.1) and retail trade (71.2), indicating that respondents from both industries predicted a better business outlook in November than in October.  Staff reporter

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