In this July 18, 2020 photo, shipping containers are seen stacked on top of each other at a cargo terminal in Hong Kong. (ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong’s export index has risen for five consecutive quarters, from a low of 16 last year to 48.7 in the second quarter of 2021, indicating that local exporters are gaining in confidence, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council reported on Wednesday.
The pandemic remains the biggest threat to exporters, with 56.9% of interviewed exporters affected over past three months, down from 78.2% in the previous quarter
The HKTDC has raised its export growth forecast for 2021 to 15 percent from 5 percent thanks to an economic recovery of major markets globally, as well as a low comparison basis. “This represents the biggest rebound since the city’s recovery from the global financial crisis in 2010,” said Nicholas Kwan, HKTDC director of research.
The HKTDC Export Index is compiled from a business survey conducted on a quarterly basis, with 500 participating Hong Kong traders from six major industry sectors. An Index reading above 50 presents an optimistic outlook, and a pessimistic one when it is below 50.
Machinery was the most promising sector, with its index rising 13 points to 55.9, with electronics (43.3) ranked second and toys (44.6) in third place, according to the HKTDC.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains the biggest threat to exporters, with 56.9 percent of interviewed exporters affected over past three months, down from 78.2 percent in the previous quarter. A reduction in order sizes was viewed as the most common downside, according to 66.4 percent of respondents.
In addition, the employment index dropped 1.6 points to 41.6 percent, which indicated probable unemployment in the short term, according to the HKTDC.
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