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HKTDC Export Index: Export Confidence Maintained video

 

The HKTDC Export Index is designed to monitor the current export performance of Hong Kong traders and gauge their near-term prospects.

  • Hong Kong exporters’ confidence remained slightly negative in 2Q14, though with little change in the HKTDC Export Index from the previous quarter.
  • Among the major industries, toys and jewellery exporters were basically neutral while clothing exporters were rather pessimistic with regard to the short-term outlook.
  • As to the major markets, exporters remained neutral with regard to Japan, the US and the Chinese mainland, while also proving slightly negative towards the EU.
  • The procurement sentiment was more positive for most industries, possibly signalling a rise in input costs or a more optimistic outlook over the longer term.
  • In 2Q14, 69% of respondents reported higher labour costs on the mainland, compared to 71% in 1Q14. The number of those reporting an increase in costs of more than 10% rose to 28% in 2Q14, compared to 20% in 1Q14.


The HKTDC Export Index dropped marginally to 47.6 in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14), from 48.1 in 1Q14. Overall, exporters remained slightly pessimistic about their export performance over the
short-term, which may signal a quarter-to-quarter contraction in Hong Kong’s exports.

Chart: HKTDC Export Index
 

With readings close to 50, toy and jewellery exporters were basically neutral with regard to their short-term sales prospects. They were followed by electronic exporters at 48.7. Export confidence was at the lowest in the clothing sector, the only industry that reported readings below 40.

Table: HKTDC Export Index
 

Export sentiment across all the major markets saw little change from the previous quarter. The indices for Japan, US and Chinese mainland hovered at the watershed of 50, while the EU was accorded the lowest reading (47.5).

Table: HKTDC Export Index by Market
 

The Offshore Trade Index registered 46.2 in 2Q14, up for the second consecutive quarter, with exporters becoming less and less pessimistic over their offshore trade performance (i.e. shipments not passing through Hong Kong, but handled by Hong Kong exporters).

Chart: Offshore Trade Index
 

The Trade Value Index edged down to 52.3 in 2Q14, yet stayed in expansionary territory. Except for clothing, all of the major industries posted readings above 50, signalling higher unit prices in the near term. The toy sector saw the highest reading (62.7).

Table: Trade Value Index
 

The Procurement Index rebounded to 54.1, indicating that procurement activities are set to increase in the near term. Except for jewellery, all of the major industries saw readings above 50, which may reflect higher prices for raw materials/semi-manufactures or a more optimistic outlook over the longer term.

Table: Procurement Index
 

The Employment Index fell slightly to 47.5 in 2Q14, from 48.9 in 1Q14. With a reading above 50, jewellery is the only industry that expected labour expansion over the short-term. By contrast, clothing, timepieces and machinery reported the lowest 2Q14 readings, signalling possible labour contraction.

Table: Employment Index
 

Download Historical Data (as of June 2014)

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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