Economic Update
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.
2018/09/26Pressure building on Mainland economy
An array of economic data released in September has pointed to the possibility of a slower growth pattern in the Mainland economy (Figure 1). The most eye-catching data is regarding fixed asset investment, an important gauge of infrastructure spending. In the first eight months of 2018, year-on-year growth declined to a record low of 5.3%, compared to 7.8% during the same period last year.
2018/08/14Dark clouds looming
The Hong Kong economy expanded by 3.5% year-on-year (in real terms) in the second quarter of 2018, following a 4.6% growth in the first quarter. It was also the seventh consecutive quarter of growth that was above the average annual growth rate of 2.7% over the past ten years (Figure 1).
2018/07/30Why a further RMB depreciation might do more harm than good
The renminbi (RMB) has tumbled in recent months. Since the start of June, it has lost more than 5% against the greenback.
2018/06/13Will Higher Interest Rates Mean a Stronger Dollar?
At its June meeting, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points to a range of 1.75% to 2%, marking the seventh rate hike since December 2015. A common belief is that higher interest rates make a currency more attractive to investors, thereby pushing up the demand for the currency and thus its value.
2018/05/15First Quarter GDP Growth Beats Expectations
Hong Kong’s economy got off to a vibrant start in 2018 with GDP growth of 4.7% over a year earlier, according to preliminary figures released on 11 May.
2018/05/04Retail Sees Double-digit Growth
Hong Kong retailers have had a strong first quarter in 2018 with sales up 14.3% on the same period last year, according to figures released by the Census and Statistics Department on 3 May.
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