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December sees strong trade growth


The value of Hong Kong's total goods exports rose 12.5% year-on-year in December, while goods imports went up 14.8%, according to the Census & Statistics Department.

The value of total goods exports - re-exports and domestic exports - rose 12.5% over a year earlier to $253bn, after a year-on-year increase of 16.6% in November. Within this total, the value of re-exports rose 12.3% to $246.6bn, while the value of domestic exports went up 24.2% to $6.4bn. At the same time, the value of goods imports rose 14.8% over a year earlier to $296.5bn, after a year-on-year increase of 16.4% in November. A visible trade deficit of $43.5bn - 14.7% of the value of goods imports - was recorded.

For 2010 as a whole, the value of total goods exports rose 22.8% over the same period in 2009. Within this total, the value of re-exports increased 22.8%, while the value of domestic exports increased 20.4%. At the same time, the value of goods imports increased 25%. A visible trade deficit of $333.8bn - 9.9% of the value of goods imports - was recorded for the year.

For 2010 as a whole, significant year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to all major destinations, in particular India (+42.4%), the Mainland (+26.5%), Taiwan (+25.4%), South Korea (+24.4%) and Singapore (+20.7%).

Over the same period of comparison, significant year-on-year increases were seen in the values of imports from all major suppliers, in particular India (+36.5%), Singapore (+35.9%), Thailand (+32.5%), Japan (+30.4%) and the Mainland (+22.4%).

Meanwhile, the preliminary figures released in January for the performance of the Hong Kong port in 2010, the throughput for 2010 reached 23.6 mn TEUs at a growth rate of 12.2% over 2009. For December, nearly 2mn TEUs were handled at the Hong Kong port at a 4% increase over Dec 2009. Over in Shenzhen, a total of 22.5 mn TEUs were handled in 2010, 23.3% more than the previous year. In December, the Shenzhen ports handled 1.8 mn TEUs, a rise of 3.3% over Dec 2009.

Predictions

The Hong Kong Economic Monitor of? Hang Seng Bank Ltd, in its February 2011 issue and published on the website of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (hktdc.com), predicted that the growth of the Hong Kong economy for 2010 is expected to be near trend at 4.5%, but at the same time, the Monitor predicts a higher inflation rate of 3.7%.

“Looking ahead, a two-speed world is likely to persist with the emerging economies booming while the advanced countries still struggling, the latter casting a shadow over the export outlook of Hong Kong. But local consumer demand should continue to underpin growth, particularly in view of the improvement in the labour market. “

In sum, Hong Kong’s growth is expected to be near trend, but inflation looks set to rise further. Our forecast for 2011 real GDP growth is for a steady growth of 4.5% but higher inflation rate of 3.7%.

The report can be found at www.hktdc.com/info/mi/a/ef/en/1X07B8RL/1/Economic-Forum/Hong-Kong-Fourth-Quarter-GDP-Preview-Br-Growth-Reverts-To-Trend-Inflation-Drifts-Up.htm