25 June 2014
HKTDC Export Index: Export Confidence Maintained
The HKTDC Export Index is designed to monitor the current export performance of Hong Kong traders and gauge their near-term prospects.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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).
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.
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.