Hong Kong: GDP stabilizes in the first quarter
May 10, 2013
In the first quarter, GDP expanded 2.8% over the same quarter last year, which matched the revised result observed in the last quarter of 2012 (previously reported: +2.5% year-on-year). The quarterly figure slightly overshot the 2.7% rise expected by market analysts.
Domestic demand continued to be the main growth engine, with strong consumption compensating for weaker investment growth. Private consumption expanded 7.0% in Q1 (Q4 2012: +2.8% yoy) while government spending rose 2.0% (Q4: +3.3% yoy). On the other hand, gross fixed investment contracted 2.2% (Q4: +11.4% yoy).
Meanwhile, exports of goods and services expanded 7.9% in Q1 (Q4: +5.8% yoy), while imports added a stronger 8.7% (Q4: +6.7% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth remained at minus 1.8 percentage points in the first quarter.
A quarter-on-quarter comparison suggests a deceleration in economic activity, as the economy grew 0.2% in the first quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, well below the 1.4% increase seen in the fourth 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 4.0%.