Business & Economy

Hong Kong GDP grows 7.8 percent in Q1 after streak of six contractions

Beijing, May 3 (EFE).- The gross domestic product (GDP) of Hong Kong grew by 7.8 percent in the first quarter of 2021, the government data showed on Monday, ending a streak of contractions in the last six quarters.

The statistics department said, in a statement, the growth in the first three months of the year was significant after a 2.8 percent decline in the last quarter of 2020.

“The larger increase in GDP in the first quarter of 2021 was mainly attributable to the strong performance of external trade during the quarter and the low base of comparison last year,” the department said.

The semi-autonomous region had seen contractions for the last six consecutive quarters.

“The sharp rebound in the first quarter mainly reflected the very strong growth of exports of goods amid the global economic recovery led by the mainland (China) and the US,” a government spokesperson said.

Quarterly, the economy grew a seasonally adjusted 5.3 percent for the Jan-Mar period, from revised growth of 0.5 percent in the previous quarter.

The spokesperson said the recovery was uneven and overall economic activity was still below the pre-recession level.

“The pandemic and social distancing requirements continued to weigh on certain economic segments, particularly those involving consumer-facing activities.”

Tourism remained in the doldrums, the spokesperson said.

“It is thus essential for the community as a whole to spare no effort to keep the epidemic under control and to ensure the success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme. This will pave the way for a broad-based economic recovery and a gradual resumption of international travel.”

Exports increased by 30.6 percent in real terms over a year earlier, higher than the 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Imports grew by 23.3 percent in real terms in the first quarter of 2021, compared with the increase of 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Private consumption expenditure increased by 1.6 percent in real terms in the first quarter of 2021 over a year earlier, against the 6.9 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Government consumption expenditure measured in national accounts terms grew by 6.7 percent after the increase of 6.1 percent in the last quarter of the previous year.

Meanwhile, the gross capital formation, a key indicator in measuring investment, increased by 4.5 percent in the first quarter, compared with the increase of 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. EFE

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