Hong Kong: GDP accelerates on healthy domestic demand
February 27, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 2.5% over the same quarter the previous year, which was faster than the revised 1.4% growth recorded in the previous three-month period (previously reported: +1.3% year-on-year). The quarterly figure slightly overshot the 2.3% rise expected by FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists and marked, in fact, the strongest result since Q4 2011. In the full year 2012, the economy expanded 1.4% (2011: 4.9%), which was broadly in line with the 1.3% rise foreseen by the FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast.
Domestic demand continued to be the main growth engine, with private consumption expanding 4.1% in Q4 (Q3 2012: +2.8% yoy) and government spending rising 3.5% (Q3: +4.0% yoy). In addition, gross fixed investment increased 10.5% (Q3: +8.3% yoy).
Meanwhile, exports of goods and services expanded 5.0% in Q4 (Q3: +3.0% yoy), while imports added a stronger 6.4% (Q3: +3.8% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth deteriorated from minus 1.5 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 2.7 percentage points in the fourth.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the improvement suggested by the annual figures, as the economy grew 1.2% in the fourth quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, which followed the 0.8% increase seen in the third quarter.
The government expects the economy to expand between 1.5% and 3.5% in 2013. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see the economy growing 3.4% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects the economy to grow 4.1%.