Forging Ahead Amid Trade Headwinds
Sluggish global demand and lacklustre trade have further dampened prospects for Hong Kong exports. In its latest projection of the city’s export outlook, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has revised downwards its forecast for 2016. HKTDC Research now expects a four per cent decline year-on-year, down from its earlier forecast of zero growth at the end of 2015. “Against the backdrop of a choppy trade environment and sluggish global demand in 2016, Hong Kong’s export performance has so far been below expectations and total exports in the first four months fell 5.6 per cent year-on-year,” said HKTDC Director of Research Nicholas Kwan. Confidence dropped at the start of the year, Mr Kwan said, triggered by fears over a disruptive slowdown of the Chinese economy and aggravated by slowing growth in the United States and sustained deflationary pressures in the European Union and Japan. But he noted that the global trade environment may stabilise in the medium term.