Hong Kong's economy is likely to perform reasonably well this year given expectations the slowdown in global growth will be mild and the mainland economy will continue to grow at a robust 10 per cent. The University of Hong Kong's Apec Study Centre is forecasting second-quarter growth of 5.3 per cent, down from an estimated 5.6 per cent in the first quarter. 'The moderation in real GDP growth is attributed to a weakening in the net external trade position, with total imports growing faster than total exports,' said the centre's director, Richard Wong Yue-chim. 'The projected strong growth in imports is underpinned by domestic consumption and investment spending. The economic growth in the current quarter is mainly driven by domestic demand.' The centre tips rising domestic demand and private consumption spending to contribute nearly all second-quarter growth, said executive director Alan Siu Kai-fat. Mr Siu said a positive economic outlook, active job market and rising wages, and expectations interest rates will be relatively stable, bode well for healthy growth in private consumption. The centre estimates private consumption will rise 4.5 per cent in the second quarter, down from a projected 5.8 per cent rise from January to last month. For the April-June period, the centre is forecasting retail spending will rise by 7.2 per cent and imports and exports by 13.5 per cent. Mr Siu believes Hong Kong is seeing rapid growth in services exports thanks to mainland demand for professional and financial services.