Hong Kong: GDP slows in Q4 on worsening external sector
February 25, 2015
In the fourth quarter, the economy expanded 2.2% over the same quarter of the previous year, which undershot the 2.7% increase tallied in Q3. That said, the print came in above the 2.0% rise that FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists had expected. In 2014, the economy expanded 2.3%, which was below the 2.9% increase observed in 2013.
The deceleration in Q4 mainly reflected a deterioration in the external sector, while domestic demand improved on strong investment growth. Private consumption grew 3.8% in Q4, which was down from the 4.1% tallied in Q3. Public spending slowed to a 3.3% rise in Q4 (Q3: +3.7% year-on-year). In contrast, gross fixed investment rebounded strongly and expanded 4.0% in Q4 (Q3: -3.3% yoy).
On the external front, exports of goods and services grew a mild 0.3% in Q4, which was below the 1.0% increase tallied in Q3. Conversely, imports accelerated from a 0.7% increase in Q3 to a 1.2% in Q4. As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth swung from plus 0.7 percentage points in Q3 to minus 2.1 percentage points in Q3.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison confirms the deceleration suggested by the annual data; the economy moderated from a seasonally-adjusted 1.4% increase in Q3 to a 0.4% expansion in Q4.