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Hong Kong exports decline, but less than predicted

Hong Kong exports decline, but less than predicted

(27 January 2016 – Hong Kong) Hong Kong exports decreased less-than-expected in December at the slowest pace in two years, data from the Census and Statistics Department showed earlier this week.

Exports dropped 1.1 percent year-on-year following 3.5 percent fall in November. The drop is softer than the 2.7 percent economists had predicted. The latest decrease was the smallest since January 2014.

Imports also surpassed economists’ expectations of  7.2 percent year-on-year decline. The December figures showed imports had reduced by 4.6 percent, nearly half that in November (8.1 percent).

The trade deficit narrowed to HK$45.70 billion (A$8.38 billion) from HK$59.25 billion a year ago. Economists had expected a HK$39.6 billion shortfall.

Over 2015, total exports decreased 1.8 percent and imports fell 4.1 percent from the previous year.

A government spokesperson said: “Looking ahead, the external trading environment will remain challenging.

"The tepid global economic growth, coupled with uncertainties stemming from monetary policy normalization in the US, diverging monetary policy among major central banks and heightened geopolitical tensions in various regions, would continue to constrain Hong Kong's export performance in the near term."

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