Hong Kong Q4 GDP expands 4.3% y/y, slower than forecast Reuters via biedexmarkets.com

© Reuters. Traffic is seen between office buildings at sunset in downtown Hong Kong, China June 29, 2017. Picture taken June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s economic growth accelerated in the fourth quarter to 4.3% from a year earlier, official advance estimates showed on Wednesday, with inbound tourism and private consumption remaining the key drivers.

That compared with 4.1% growth in third quarter, 1.5% expansion in the second quarter and the 2.9% in the first. However, the reading missed a median forecast of 4.7% in a Reuters poll of 14 economists.

“Looking ahead, the difficult external environment will continue to pose pressures on Hong Kong’s exports of goods in 2024,” a government spokesman said, adding the tight financial conditions may remain a constraint for the time being.

“The situation may stabilise later in the year if advanced economies cut interest rates as expected,” the spokesman said, adding visitor arrivals should increase further as handling capacity continues to recover with additional boost from the government’s efforts to promote mega events.

On a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, the economy increased 0.5% in the October-December period as compared with a 0.3% growth in July-September, the data showed.

For the whole of 2023, GDP grew 3.2% from the previous year.

Private consumption expenditure increased by 3.5% in the quarter, compared to 6.2% growth three months earlier. For 2023, private consumption expenditure increased by 7.4%.

Goods exports recorded an increase of 2.8%, compared to a 8.7% decline in third quarter. Total exports of goods for 2023 decreased 10.3% from 2022.

Imports of goods increased by 3.9% in the fourth quarter, compared to a 6.1% decline in the third quarter and a decrease of 8.5% for the whole of 2023.