Economic Update
DateTitle
2019/08/05Grim economic outlook
Few people would deny that these are extraordinary times for Hong Kong. Rarely have retailers in the city had such a cheerless summer. In June, total retail sales were down 6.7% year-on-year, marking the fifth consecutive month of decline (Figure 1). The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts declined by 17.1%, the steepest slide since August 2016.
2019/07/26Yield Curve Inversion
The difference between 10-year and 3-month U.S. Treasury yields has narrowed since the start of this month (Figure 1), amid hopes that the Federal Reserve will reduce its target federal fund rate at its next meeting on 30-31 July. For economy watchers, it tells them something about the outlook of the U.S. economy.
2019/06/26New Normal for Tourism
Thanks to the opening of the Hong Kong section of the Express Rail Link (XRL) and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in September and October 2018, total visitor arrivals to Hong Kong have continued to grow this year.
2019/05/03We Cannot Ignore Lower Productivity Growth
Facing a gradually ageing population (Figure 1), Hong Kong’s total labour force is expected to reach a plateau during 2019 to 2022, according to a projection by the Census and Statistics Department.
2019/04/03Retail Sales Growth Remains Weak
Hong Kong’s retail sales dropped 10.1% year-on-year in February after a 7% growth in January, according to provisional figures.
2019/03/07Beijing Steps Up Economic Stimulus
Mainland China has lowered its GDP growth target for 2019 to a range of 6-6.5%, compared to “around 6.5%” in 2018, as announced in Premier Li Keqiang’s report delivered at the opening of the annual session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing.
2019/02/04Federal Reserve Takes a Dovish Turn
U.S. President Donald Trump may be feeling a sense of relief right now. The government has re-opened after a five-week shutdown – also reducing the opportunities for conflict with the tough House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- and the Federal Reserve has taken a more dovish turn.
2019/01/18Near-term economic pressure mounts for Hong Kong
People who like surprises may continue to enjoy themselves in 2019 as global uncertainty looks set to continue. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal has just suffered a landslide defeat in Parliament, meaning that the United Kingdom has entered a new and heightened phase of uncertainty. Growth in investment in the U.K. has plummeted compared with the European Union. Caution will still be the best approach for businesses, and we may need to wait for some time before the growth in investment in Britain and its European neighbours converges again.
2018/11/07U.S Wage Growth May Take Off as Slack in the Job Market Fades
The latest figures from the U.S. Labor Department show that average hourly earnings rose 3.1% year-on-year in October, the fastest pace since April 2009.
2018/10/11IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecasts
In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that it expects global economic growth will remain steady at last year’s rate of 3.7% for 2018-19 (Figure 1). This projection, in fact, has been revised down from the April estimate of 3.9% for the next two years. As an institution so often viewed as being overly pessimistic, the IMF has admitted that it was over-optimistic when it made the previous projection.
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