Hong Kong June Exports Plunge Most Since 2016 as Trade Wars Bite

Date: Thursday, July 25, 2019
Source: Bloomburg

Hong Kong’s exports sank more than expected in June for an eighth straight month of declines, as government officials warned there was no near-term relief in sight.

Exports declined in June to HK$309.6 billion ($39.6 billion), down 9% from year-ago figures, according to a Hong Kong government release. That’s the worst result since 2016 and well below the -2.3% median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Imports also retreated by 7.5% in June, to HK$364.8 billion.

Hong Kong’s economy is showing signs of strain amid growing political unrest in the city, slowing global trade and ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions.

“The soft global economic environment and continued U.S.-mainland trade tensions put further strains on manufacturing activities and trade flows in Asia,” a government spokesman said in the release. “Looking ahead, the near-term performance of Hong Kong’s merchandise exports will remain constrained by the softening global economy and uncertainties arising from U.S.-mainland trade tensions and other external developments.”

Hong Kong is set to report advance second-quarter economic growth on July 31.

What Bloomberg’s Economists Say

Hong Kong is bearing the brunt of the trade war, given its role as a key conduit between China and U.S trade. Looking ahead, a prolonged U.S.-China trade dispute, slowing Chinese economy, and sluggish global demand give little reason to expect a near-term recovery in trade.
Qian Wan, Economist
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