Sat, Aug 15, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Hong Kong GDP beats domestic spending forecast

POSITIVE RESULTS:GDP expanded 0.4 percent in the second quarter, supported by domestic consumption and a surge in exchange trading volumes


Hong Kong’s economy expanded faster than analysts forecast in the second quarter as rising wages and low joblessness fueled spending.

GDP expanded 0.4 percent in the three months through June from the previous three months, the government said, slowing from a revised 0.7 percent expansion in the first quarter and beating the median estimate for 0.2 percent growth.

GDP may expand by 2 percent to 3 percent this year, from a previous prediction of 1 percent to 3 percent, it said.

The economy was supported by domestic consumption even as luxury spending by Chinese tourists slumped. Such spending may weaken further after the steepest yuan depreciation in two decades this week. While trading volumes on the city’s exchange surged in the second quarter because of the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect link, the market plummeted last month.

“The second half will be more difficult,” Daiwa Capital Markets economist Kevin Lai (賴志文) said. “For Chinese tourists, Hong Kong is less attractive as retail goods are more expensive with the yuan devaluation.”

The domestic sector remained “remarkably resilient” in the second quarter, cushioning the economy against a lull in external trade, the government said. Private consumption expenditure grew 6 percent from a year earlier, while investment expenditure increased 6.5 percent.

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