Economic Update


Exports, Imports Jump in January

Hong Kong’s exports and imports both saw marked growth in January, according to the latest figures from the Census and Statistics Department.

Hong Kong’s total exports of goods rose to $350 billion in January from a year earlier, an 18.1% increase in value. This follows a year-on-year increase of 6% in December. The value of imports of goods increased 23.8% to $382 billion in January, after a year-on-year increase of 9% in December.

A trade deficit of $31.9 billion, equivalent to 8.4% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in January.

Total exports to Asia grew by 24.2%. Exports to Taiwan were up by 40%, India 39.4%, Mainland China 29%, Vietnam 23% and Japan 8%.

In terms of sectors, major increases were seen in electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts (by $29.7 billion or 30.4%), office machines and automatic data-processing machines ($8.4 billion, 27.4%) and non-metallic mineral manufactures ($5.2 billion, 43.8%).

A Government spokesman said that merchandise exports surged in January compared to a year ago amid strengthening global demand. However, he also noted that trade figures for January were distorted by the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year, which fell in mid-February this year but in late January last year. The trade figures for January and February combined, when released, will offer a more meaningful comparison and a clearer picture of the underlying growth momentum.

The spokesman added that the solid expansion of the global economy should continue to support Hong Kong’s exports in the near term. However, the trading environment is still subject to various uncertainties, including continued monetary policy normalisation in the United States, the potential rise in protectionism in major economies and heightened geopolitical tensions in various regions.


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