Hong Kong’s economy grew at a stronger pace in the third quarter, boosted by tourism and spending, though the rate of expansion was slower than economists had forecast.
Gross domestic product grew 4.1 percent year-on-year following a 1.5 percent increase in the second quarter, preliminary figures from the Census and Statistics Department, or Censtad, showed Tuesday. Economists had forecast 5.2 percent growth. “The continuous expansion in GDP in the third quarter of 2023 was mainly attributable to the further improvement in domestic demand and services trade,” Censtad said.
Private consumption expenditure grew 6.5 percent following 7.7 percent increase in the previous three months. State spending shrunk 4.5 percent following a 9.8 percent fall in the second quarter. Gross domestic fixed capital formation grew 18.2 percent, after a 0.5 percent decline in the previous three months. This was largely due to a base effect. The decline in exports of goods narrowed to 8.6 percent from 15.1 percent and that of imports shrunk to 6.0 percent from 15.8 percent. Services exports grew 24.0 percent after a 22.8 percent gain in the previous quarter, on the back of further revival in visitor arrivals. Imports of services rose 28.5 percent, an improvement from the 25.4 percent growth in the second quarter. GDP edged up 0.1 percent from the previous quarter, which was much less than the 1.4 percent gain economists were looking for. “Hong Kong economy continued to revive in the third quarter of 2023, supported by inbound tourism and private consumption,” a government spokesman said. “Looking ahead, inbound tourism and private consumption will continue to underpin economic growth for the rest of the year,” the spokesman said. However, the difficult external environment amid increasing geopolitical tensions and tight financial conditions would continue to weigh on exports of goods and investment and consumption sentiment, the official added.