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Hong Kong Q1 GDP growth at near 10-year low

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Christian Fernsby |
Hong Kong
Asia   Hong Kong

The Hong Kong economy advanced 0.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, higher than an advance estimate of 0.5 percent but easing from a 1.2 percent expansion in the previous period, a final estimate showed.

It was the weakest growth rate since the third quarter of 2009, when the economy contracted 1.7 percent. Private consumption and government spending slowed and fixed investment shrank further.

Private consumption expanded by 0.2 percent, higher than a preliminary 0.1 percent but slowing from a 2.7 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018; and government spending increased by 4.5 percent, easing from a 4.9 percent expansion in the prior quarter.

Additionally, fixed investment contracted 7.1 percent, above an advance estimate of 7.0 percent and after shrinking 5.8 percent in the previous period. Investment in machinery, equipment and intellectual property products fell (-1.8 percent vs 4.7 percent in Q4 2018) while spending on building and construction shrank less (-3.5 percent vs -4.9 percent in Q4), of which private construction (-3.9 percent) and public (-2.8 percent).

Exports of goods declined 4.1 percent, lower than the first estimate of a 4.2 percent fall, compared with the virtually no change in the last quarter of 2018, and those of services went up 1.1 percent, below a preliminary 1.4 percent increase and slower than a 3.3 percent rise.

Imports of goods dropped 4.7 percent, down from and a 4.6 percent decrease in the advance estimate and after decreasing 0.5 percent in the previous quarter and those of services fell 0.8 percent (vs a preliminary 1.0 percent), compared to a 2.1 percent increase in Q4.

On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 1.3 percent in the first quarter of the year, above a preliminary estimate of 1.2 percent, rebounding from an upwardly revised 0.5 percent contraction in prior period.


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