Export Confidence Improves Slightly But Remains Fragile

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Posted on: 31 Mar 2012

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Speaking today at a press conference, HKTDC Chief Economist Edward Leung said that Hong Kong export confidence remains fragile, though there has been a slight rebound in sentiment

15 March 2012 – The latest HKTDC Export Index, published by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), showed a slight rebound from the previous quarter, though Hong Kong exporter confidence remains weak. The Index was revealed today at a HKTDC press conference led by the Council’s Chief Economist Edward Leung. It is also available in the latest issue of the HKTDC Trade Quarterly.

Export Index Up
The HKTDC Export Index rebounded to 43 in the first quarter of this year, from 40.6 in the fourth quarter of 2011. “Despite the slight rebound in sentiment, confidence remains fragile,” said Mr Leung. “A reading below 50 indicates negative export sentiment and signals a contraction in Hong Kong’s exports over the short term. This is the third consecutive quarter with a reading below the watershed of 50.”

Export sentiment improved for most major industries. The indices for toys and jewellery saw the biggest rise, to 45.5 and 45.3 respectively, though both remained below 50. Clothing exporters were among the most pessimistic, with the clothing index dropping to 37.7, its lowest reading since the third quarter of 2009.

Among major markets, the indices for the Chinese mainland and Japan were relatively steady, at just below 50. Export confidence improved slightly for the United States, with a reading of 46.3, up from 43.8. Confidence in the European Union saw little change from the preceding quarter, with a reading of 42.6 compared to 42.1 the previous quarter.

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Posted: 31 March 2012

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