Export growth improved last month

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 November, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong's export growth last month improved to 9.4 per cent year on year although data in the coming months was expected to more fully reflect the impact of the economic downturn, the government said.

Census and Statistics Department figures show exports totalled HK$276.9 billion last month while imports amounted to HK$291.2 billion, up 11.3 per cent year on year and giving a trade deficit of HK$14.3 billion. Last month's external trade performance was the strongest since July.

In September, exports grew by just 3.6 per cent year on year while imports rose 3.9 per cent.

For the first 10 months of the year, exports saw an 8 per cent increase, while imports rose by 9.4 per cent, resulting in a total trade deficit of HK$181.6 billion so far for the year.

A government spokesman said last month's exports showed notable year on year growth, which was mainly due to a rebound in exports to the mainland and major Asian markets. Total exports to the mainland last month rose 14 per cent year on year, while trade to Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and India all recorded double-digit growth. However, exports to South Korea dropped 6 per cent.

'The global financial crisis has mutated into a synchronised global economic downturn, and its impact on Hong Kong's trade is likely to show up more fully in the coming months,' he said, adding that the government needed to stay alert to how the international crisis developed and the looming downturn.