Healthy re-exports of merchandise and improving domestic trade boosted the value of total goods exported last month by 16.9 per cent year on year to $193.4 billion. It was the first month of double-digit growth since January. Figures released yesterday by the Census and Statistics Department show re-exports surged 18 per cent compared with a year ago to $183.5 billion. The fall in domestic exports narrowed to 0.5 per cent, or $9.9 billion, compared with more than 10 per cent in April. Last month, machinery and equipment re-exports grew. Domestic clothing exports plunged by 41.3 per cent. Significant increases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Australia, Singapore and the Netherlands. Imports also grew by 16 per cent to $202.7 billion, compared with 3.8 per cent growth in April. 'The growth in merchandise exports accelerated notably in May. The strong growth occurred virtually across the board among all main markets,' a government spokesman said. 'This suggests that export growth has regained some momentum lately, notwithstanding the increasing uncertainties in the external environment.' The spokesman warned that the short-term outlook could still be affected by a stronger US currency, trade protectionism against mainland imports, high oil prices and US pressure for revaluation of the yuan. 'Trade wars with China and currency revaluation pressure are bound to have a direct effect on Hong Kong exports,' Lau Pui-king, associate professor of accounting and finance at Polytechnic University, said.