Highlighting the slowdown in demand on the back of a weak global economy, Hong Kong exports rose just 3.6% year-on-year in September, according to government data released on Oct. 27.
The figure was a rise from the 1.9% year-on-year increase in August, but the medium-term trend continued to be downward, the Census and Statistics Department said.
The value of total exports of goods, mainly produced in southern China's factory belt, rose to 247.2 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$31.7 billion), the figures showed. The value of imports of goods increased by 3.9% over a year earlier to $263.2 billion in September, after a year-on-year increase of 1.5% in August. The visible trade deficit was $16 billion, equivalent to 6.1% of the value of imports of goods.
A government spokesman said if the past three of four months were taken together, there was a notable deceleration in the growth of merchandise exports. "This reflects the dampening effect of the global economic slowdown," he said. "The deepening of the global financial crisis in September has increased markedly the downside risks to the global economy. This coupled with the recent strength of the U.S. dollar does not bode well for the performance of Hong Kong's exports in the period ahead."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008