Hong Kong\'s value of total retail sales in August is provisionally estimated at 38.7 billion HK dollars (about 5 billion U.S. dollars), rising 8.1 percent year-on- year, the city\'s Census and Statistics Department announced Thursday. After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the total retail sales volume grew by 7.2 percent, according to the released figure. For the first eight months, total retail sales grew by 13.4 percent in value and 12.8 percent in volume over a year earlier. Analyzed by broad type of retail outlet, the volume of sales of jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts registered the fastest growth of 22.4 percent year-on-year in August. This was followed by sales of commodities in department stores, miscellaneous consumer durable goods, Chinese drugs and herbs, and optical shops. The department noted that the growth of retail sales in August, though somewhat slower than those earlier this year, was still notable on a year-on-year comparison. Looking ahead, it said the performance of the retail business in the near term should continue to receive support from the favorable labor market conditions and further growth of inbound tourism. However, it added the city\'s government needs to closely monitor whether the unsteady external environment will affect the local economy going forward.