Hong Kong retail sales drop 23 percent as protests escalate

Hong Kong's August retail sales fell 23 percent from a year earlier, government data showed on Wednesday, amid escalating protests that have gripped the Asian financial center for nearly four months.

Retail sales in August were the worst on record, estimated at 29 billion HK dollars (about 3.75 billion U.S. dollars), a seventh consecutive month of decline. July's drop was 11.4 percent.

Meanwhile, retail sales in volume terms decreased by more than 25.3 percent, compared with a revised 13.1 percent drop in July. Market analysts say the outlook is overshadowed by the protests and a weak Chinese yuan that translates into lower spending.