Hong Kong Exports Fall More Than Expected Amid Trade Gloom

(Bloomberg) -- Exports from Hong Kong fell more than expected in December as the impact of U.S.-China trade tensions deepened in the port city, the first time sales abroad have contracted in consecutive months since 2016.

December exports tumbled 5.8 percent from a year ago to HK$339.9 billion ($43.3 billion), while imports slid 7 percent to HK$391.2 billion in the same period, as “the moderation in global economic growth and the U.S.-Mainland trade tensions increasingly weighed on the exports of many Asian economies,” the Hong Kong government said in a release.

“The near-term outlook for merchandise trade is challenging amid moderating global economic growth and the uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-Mainland trade relations,” the government said.

The median estimate of six economists surveyed by Bloomberg was a 1.7 percent decline in exports. The economists had also forecast a 2.1 percent drop in imports.

Click here for a complete list of Hong Kong trade figures for December

Exports to the rest of Asia fell 7.8 percent in December from a year ago, with goods shipped to India declining 36 percent for the biggest decrease followed by Vietnam at -16 percent and China at -8.7 percent. Exports to Germany declined 11 percent, while those to the U.S. slipped 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile Hong Kong imports from Taiwan fell 30 percent, while Korean imports dropped 25 percent and India 24 percent.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.