Tuesday April 25 2017
Hong Kong Trade Deficit Narrows In March
Census ans Statistics Department of Hong Kong l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Hong Kong's trade deficit decreased by 10.1 percent to HKD 42.3 billion in March 2017 from HKD 47.0 billion in the same month of the previous year, as exports went up 16.9 percent and imports rose at a slower 13 percent.

Year-on-year, exports increased by 16.9 percent to HKD 321.9 billion in March 2017, after an increase of 18.2 percent in the previous month. Exports to Asia as a whole went up by 19 percent, mainly to India (77.3 percent); Taiwan (37.1 percent); Vietnam (17.6 percent); the Phillippines (17.4 percent);  China (16 percent), and Japan (13.9 percent).
 
Apart from destinations in Asia, increases were also registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other region in particular Germany (17.7 percent); the US (8.9 percent), and the UK (3.2 percent).

By commodity, exports increased for: electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (23.5 percent); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (15.4 percent), and non-metallic mineral manufactures (26.4 percent). 
 
Imports rose by 13 percent to HKD 364.2 billion in March 2017, after an increase of 25.4 percent in the preceding month. Increases were recorded from South Korea (53.9 percent); India (38.0 percent); the Philippines (32.8 percent); Taiwan (23.3 percent); China (12.1 percent); and Thailand (10.2 percent).
 
By commodity, imports surged for: electrical machinery apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (22.5 percent); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (10.0 percent); and miscellaneous manufactured articles mainly jewellery, goldsmiths an silversmiths' wares (16 percent).
 
Considering the first three months of 2017, the trade deficit widened to HKD 110.9 billion from HKD 97.7 billion in the same period of the previous year. Exports went up 10.3 percent and imports grew 10.7 percent.

"Merchandise exports sustained strong growth in March, amid an improving global economy. Exports to the major advanced economies improved visibly, and those to the Mainland and many other Asian economies stayed robust. Looking ahead, the gradually strengthening global economic conditions should continue to render support to Hong Kong's export performance in the near term. However, the outlook is still subject to uncertainties, including those related to the US interest rate normalisation, Brexit and other political developments in Europe, possible rise of protectionist sentiment and heightened geopolitical tensions in various regions", a government spokesman noted.




Friday April 21 2017
Hong Kong Inflation Rate Rises To 0.5% In March
Census and Statistics Department |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Hong Kong increased 0.5 percent year-on-year in March of 2017, compared to a 0.1 percent drop in the prior month. The recovery in CPI was mainly driven by prices of housing, meals bought away from home and transport.

Year-on-year, prices recovered for housing (0.1 percent from -0.3 percent), meals bought away from home (2.7 percent vs -3.7 percent) and rose for transport (3.2 percent, the same pace as in February). Additional upward pressure came from miscellaneous goods and services (1.1 percent vs 1.2 percent), clothing and footwear (0.4 percent vs -3.3 percent) and alcoholic drinks and tobacco (2.5 percent vs 2.7 percent). Meanwhile, prices fell less for durable goods (-3.1 percent vs -3.7 percent), food (excluding meals bought away from home) (-1.6 percent vs -3.7 percent) and electricity, gas and water (-1.2 percent vs -7.5 percent).

Underlying consumer prices, which exclude the effects of one-off government relief measures went up 1.3 percent compared to 0.7 percent in February. 




Friday April 21 2017
Hong Kong Jobless Rate Lowest Since 2014
Census and Statistics Department | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Hong Kong declined to 3.2 percent in the three months to March 2017, from 3.3 percent in the previous period. It was the lowest jobless rate since June of 2014. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.2 percent.

Compared to the three months to February, the number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 5 600 to 125 000 and the number of underemployed remained unchanged at 49 000.

Employment decreased by around 2 000 to 3 822 400  and while the labor force increased by around 3 600 to 3 947 400.

While there were only small movements in the unemployment rates of most of the major economic sectors when compared to the preceding three-month period, the unemployment rates of many sectors were generally lower than their year-ago levels amid the relatively favourable overall economic conditions on entering 2017. Specifically, thanks to the continued improvement of inbound tourism, the unemployment rates for all individual sectors in the consumption- and tourism-related segment (viz. retail, accommodation and food services) went down in January - March 2017 over the preceding period as well as a year earlier.




Monday March 27 2017
Hong Kong Trade Gap Biggest In 2 Years
Census and Statistics Department l Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Hong Kong's trade deficit increased by 69.8 percent to HKD 56.3 billion in February 2017 from HKD 33.1 billion the same month of the previous year. It is the biggest trade deficit since December 2014, as exports went up 18.2 percent and imports at a faster 25.4 percent.

Year-on-year, exports rose by 18.2 percent to HKD 241.7 billion in February 2017 after a decrease of 1.2 percent in January 2017. Exports to Asia as a whole went up by 29.9 percent, mainly to Taiwan (82.7 percent); Vietnam (46.5 percent); China (35.9 percent); Phillippines (21.3 percent); South Korea (18.4 percent) and India (9.7 percent).  

By commodity, exports increased for: electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (35.9 percent); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (28.1 percent) and office machines and automatic data processing machines (7.8 percent).

Year-on-year, imports went up by 25.4 percent to HKD 298 billion in February 2017, after a decrease 2.7 percent in the preceding month. Increases were recorded from Philippines (59.9 percent); South Korea (59.4 percent); the Netherlands (17.4 percent); India (32.6 percent); Thailand (28.7 percent); Japan (27.4 percent) and China (24.5 percent).

By commodity, imports surged for: electrical machinery apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (37.4 percent); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (28.1 percent); and office machines and automatic data processing machines (16 percent).


Tuesday March 21 2017
Hong Kong Consumer Prices Fall For 1st Time In 7-1/2 Years
Census and Statistics Department | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Hong Kong fell by 0.1 percent year-on-year in February 2017, compared to a 1.3 percent rise in the previous month. It is the first decrease since August of 2009 due to several factors: difference in the timing of the Lunar New Year, which fell in late January this year but in early February last year; high base of comparison a year earlier when prices of basic foodstuffs surged because of bad weather conditions and downward adjustment in electricity charges. Taking the first two months of 2017 together to neutralise the effect of the Lunar New Year, consumer prices rose by 0.6 percent over a year earlier.

Year-on-year, decreases in prices were recorded for electricity, gas and water (-7.5 percent vs -7.6 percent in January); food (excluding meals bought away from home) (-3.7 percent vs 2.3 percent); durable goods (-3.7 percent vs -3.9 percent); clothing and footwear (-3.3 percent vs -2.9 percent) and miscellaneous services (-1.1 percent vs 3.6 percent). In contrast, increases were seen for transport (3.1 percent vs 2.4 percent), meals bought away from home (2.8 percent vs 3.1 percent), alcoholic drinks and tobacco (2.7 percent vs 1.6 percent) and miscellaneous goods (2.5 percent vs 2.4 percent).

Underlying consumer prices, which exclude the effects of one-off government relief measures went up 0.7 percent compared to 2.1 percent in January as the difference in the timing of the Lunar New Year resulted in lower charges for package tours. Another downward pressure came from falling prices of fresh vegetables.


Thursday March 16 2017
Hong Kong Unemployment Rate Steady At 3.3%
Statistics of Hong Kong | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Hong Kong stood at 3.3 percent in the three months to February 2017, the same as in the previous period. The underemployment rate decreased to 1.2 percent from 1.3 percent in November 2016 - January 2017. The jobless rate benefited from the relative improvement of inbound tourism and in more buoyant business activities during the festive period.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, an increase was mainly seen in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector while a decrease was mainly seen in the real estate sector. The number of unemployed persons fell by around 1.7 thousand to 119.4 thousand and employment rose by 15 thousand to 3.82 million. Also, the labour force increased by 13.3 thousand to 3.94 million.

The labour market is expected to remain tight in the near term. The employment outlook still hinges on the play-out of various external uncertainties on the local economy. 


Monday February 27 2017
Hong Kong Trade Deficit Narrows To 5-Year Low
Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Hong Kong's trade deficit decreased by 29.4 percent to HKD 12.30 billion in January 2017 from HKD 17.48 billion the same month of the previous year as imports declined more than exports. Exports went down by 1.2 percent to HKD 296.3 billion while imports decreased by 2.7 percent to HKD 308.6 billion. It is the smallest deficit since January 2012.

Year-on-year, exports decreased by 1.2 percent to HKD 296.3 billion in January 2017 after an increase of 10.1 percent in December 2016. Exports to Asia as a whole went down by 1.8 percent, mainly to Vietnam (-7.5 percent); China (-5.8 percent); Phillippines (-2.9 percent) and Japan (-2.2 percent). 

By commodity, exports declined for: non-metallic mineral manufactures (-13.9 percent); power generating machinery and equipment (-16.1 percent) and textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products (-13.9 percent). In contrast, sales of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof went up 1.6 percent.
 
Year-on-year, imports went down by 2.7 percent to HKD 308.6 billion in January 2017, after an increase 8.7 percent in the preceding month. Falls were recorded from Malaysia (-14.2 percent); the USA (-13.2 percent); Japan (-6.2 percent); Thailand (-5.4 percent) and China (-4.8 percent).

By commodity, imports declined for: office machines and automatic data processing machines (-12.2 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (-16 percent); and articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-12 percent). However, imports of electrical machinery apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof rose 6.7 percent. 
  
 


Wednesday February 22 2017
Hong Kong GDP Growth Strongest In 1-1/2-Year In Q4
Statistic of Hong Kong l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Hong Kong economy grew 3.1 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to an upwardly revised 2.0 percent expansion in the September quarter. It was the strongest growth since the June quarter 2015, mainly supported by a faster rise in private consumption and exports of goods while government spending and investment expanded further.

Private consumption increased 3.2 percent, up from a 1.2 percent rise in the September quarter. Government spending rose 3.3 percent (the same as in the prior quarter). Gross fixed capital formation expanded 5.2 percent (from 6.7 percent, as expenditure on machinery, equipment and intellectual property products decreased by 4.2 percent while expenditure on building and construction rose 6.9 percent). Exports of goods increased by 5 .1 percent (from 2.4 percent) and exports of services went up 1.4 percent (from -2.4 percent). Imports of goods expanded 5.5 percent (from 3.1 percent) while import of services rose 1.8 percent (from 0.7 percent).
 
On a quarterly basis, the economy advanced 1.2 percent, faster than an upwardly revised 0.8 percent expansion in the previous quarter. Private consumption rose at a faster 1.5 percent (from 0.9 percent in the third quarter), followed by government spending (1.0 percent from 0.5 percent). Exports of goods increased by 3.9 percent (from 0.7 percent) while exports of services went up 1.2 percent (from 1.6 percent). Imports of goods rose 1.6 percent, rebounding from a 0.3 percent drop. Imports of services grew by 0.5 percent, faster than a 0.1 percent rise in the prior quarter.  
 
For full 2016, the economy expanded by 1.9 percent, slower than a 2.4 percent growth in 2015. 




Tuesday February 21 2017
Hong Kong Inflation Rate Rises To 1.3% In January
Census and Statistics Department | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Hong Kong went up by 1.3 percent year-on-year in January 2017, compared to a 1.2 percent rise in the previous month. It is the highest rate inflation since September 2016, mainly due to rising transport cost, namely package tours as the Lunar New Year fell in late January this year but in early February last year. This largely offset a fall in electricity charges and lower food inflation.

Year-on-year, prices increased at a faster pace for transport (2.4 percent from 2 percent) and miscellaneous goods (3.6 percent from 2.3 percent). Housing rose 0.3 percent (the same as in December) and food went up at a slower pace (2.8 percent from 3.1 percent).

By contrast, cost fell for electricity, gas and water (-7.6 percent from -0.3 percent in December), clothing and footwear ( -2.9 percent from -0.3 percent), and durable goods (-3.9 percent from -5.2 percent).

Meanwhile, underlying consumer prices, which exclude the effects of one-off government relief measures went up 2.1 percent compared to 2 percent in December mainly due to higher charges for package tours around Lunar New Year.

Inflationary pressures are expected be contained in the near term given the soft import prices and moderate local cost increases, a government spokesman commented.


Monday February 20 2017
Hong Kong Unemployment Rate Flat at 3.3%
Census and Statistics Department | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Hong Kong stood at 3.3 percent in the three months to January of 2017, the same as in the previous two periods. The underemployment rate decreased to 1.3 percent from 1.4 percent in October-December 2016. The jobless rate benefited from the relative improvement of inbound tourism in the more recent periods and the usually more buoyant business activities in the run-up to the Lunar New Year.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the number of unemployed persons fell by around 2.8 thousand to 119.2 thousand. Decreases were mainly seen in the food and beverage service activities sector and the repair, laundry, domestic and other personal service activities sector. As to the underemployment rate, a decline was mainly seen in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector. Employment rose by 14.1 thousand to 3.831 million and the labour force participation rate increased to 61.1 percent from 60.9 percent.

The labour market is expected to remain generally tight in the near term. The employment outlook still hinges on the play-out of various external uncertainties surrounding the local economy down the road.