HK Economy - Highlight
20 June 2017
The world economy got off to a good start in 2017 with a broadly synchronised recovery. Amid an improving global trade environment, Hong Kong exports are now expected to grow by 5% in 2017, vis-a-vis the zero growth forecast previously. US protectionism, political uncertainties in the EU, renewed faltering of emerging markets, disruptive slowdown of the Chinese economy and heightened geopolitical tensions are the major downside risks.
The overall HKTDC Export Index climbed to 50.1 for 2Q17, a 16-quarter high and a rise from 47.1 in 1Q17. This change of confidence level from negative to positive indicated a reversal in sentiment with regard to export performance in 2Q17. Overall, exporters have become cautiously optimistic with regard to their likely export performance over the short-term.
With the global trade environment on the mend, there was an across-the-board improvement among Hong Kong’s major export categories in the first four months of 2017. Electronics, the largest item, provided the major growth impetus. While sales of toys and jewellery also increased, the declines of clothing and timepieces slowed. Granting no severe external shocks, the sales outlook for these products should remain sanguine over the medium term.