Government says exports fell 8.1 per cent in last month

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 May, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 May, 1999, 12:00am

The Government said exports fell 8.1 per cent in last month compared with a year ago although the rate of decline was considerably less marked than previously.

The value of exports for the month fell to $106.6 billion, according to the Census and Statistics department.

A government spokesman said although exports had continued to fall in recent months, last month's rate of decline had moderated slightly from the first quarter and was much slower than in the latter part of last year.

'This was due in large part to the continued improvement in exports to Asian markets, as the overall economic situation in the region stabilised over the past few months,' he said.

Within the value of exports, re-exports were down 6.7 per cent to $93.8 billion, and domestic exports fell 17.4 per cent to $12.8 billion.

During the month, the value of imports also fell by 14.9 per cent from a year earlier to $113.3 billion.

A visible trade deficit of $6.7 billion, equal to 6 per cent of the value of imports, was recorded last month. This was smaller than the deficit of $17.2 billion equal to 12.9 per cent of the value of imports, in the same period last year.

The Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce said further improvement in the trade figures was expected as the year progressed, but it would continue to be a tough year for traders, both globally and in mainland markets.