Exports of goods rose by more than 32 per cent by volume in January compared with a year ago, fuelled largely by a sharp jump in re-exports of office and industrial machinery, the government said yesterday.
Figures released by the Census and Statistics Department show a 33.6 per cent increase in the volume of re-exports of goods. Domestic exports - goods that originate in Hong Kong and are shipped overseas - rose by 13.4 per cent. Total exports of goods climbed 32.4 per cent.
Much of the improvement was seen in re-exports of capital goods such as office and industrial machinery, raw materials including leather, and electronic components. Re-exports of consumer goods, mainly jewellery and audiovisual equipment, also recorded a 25.1 per cent increase.
Re-exported goods originate elsewhere, mostly on the mainland, and pass through Hong Kong to foreign destinations.
Domestic exports of office machines soared 208.9 per cent, while those of jewellery and precious stones jumped 124.8 per cent.
'Growth in domestic exports of goods is still going to be mainly from office equipment and jewellery,' said William Chow, a visiting assistant professor of economics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
There were falls in domestic exports of clothing and scientific equipment, and in re-exports of cars and appliances. Import volumes for capital goods increased 46 per cent year on year.
The rise in imports of consumer items such as toys and jewellery was particularly marked.
'The import data for consumer goods show Hong Kong's economic recovery is still quite strong,' Dr Chow said.