Hong Kong’s First-quarter GDP Growth Slows To Near Decade Low

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s economy grew at its slowest annual speed in nearly a decade in the first one fourth, an advance federal government estimation demonstrated on Thursday, hit with a slowdown in exports and investment. The Asian financial center has been buffeted by China’s slowing economy and the U.S.-China trade war, along with chilling property prices and volatile stock markets.

This was the very first time the government has released an initial reading on gross domestic product (GDP). On the quarterly basis, the overall economy expanded a altered 1.2 percent after contracting a revised 0.5 percent in the fourth one fourth. “Total exports of goods weakened further in the first one fourth, like the situation in many other Asian economies,” a nationwide authorities spokesman said in a statement. Private consumption grew marginally and overall investment expenditure contracted as business sentiment had turned cautious since the latter part of 2018, the spokesman said.

Paul Tang, main economist of Bank or investment company of East Asia, said the economy looked set to boost soon thanks to the positive prosperity effect from more powerful stock and property markets. “We are sure the performance in the first quarter is the worse quite, and a recovery in the next half shall become more obvious,” Tang said, adding that positive symptoms in Sino-U.S.

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Chinese economy were lending support to business confidence. Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on his blog on Sunday that first-quarter growth would be humble on the year-on-year basis and would be much lower than the fourth one fourth amid increased uncertainties in the politics and financial environment. Though the coastal city’s share of China’s trade has dropped with the rise of mega-ports on the mainland, its open up overall economy remains susceptible to external dangers highly. In addition to trade, it is highly reliant on tourists and investment flows from China.

“If the trade issues could be solved somewhat and part or every one of the tariffs previously imposed could be raised, global financial sentiment will be boosted, facilitating the development of Hong Kong’s overall economy,” Chan said. 250 billion in U.S. Chinese goods, Politico reported on Wednesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the two countries completed “productive” discussions in Beijing. For China’s economy, it is starting to show some signs of bottoming out in response to stimulus steps, but analysts say it is early to call a turnaround too. While conditions are expected to stabilize around mid-year, economists caution that China is unlikely to visit a sharp rebound as in the past, noting Beijing’s stimulus steps so have been relatively more restrained considerably. That would mean more subdued recoveries in Hong Kong and other trade-reliant Asian economies.

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