Hong Kong's merchandise exports decreased unexpectedly in February, data released by the Census and Statistics Department showed Tuesday.
Export of goods fell 16.9 percent on an annual basis to HK$215.74 billion in February, reversing the 17.6 percent gain seen in the previous month. Month-on-month, overall shipments fell 29.2 percent in February. Economists had forecat a rise of 4.4 percent for February.
Comparing the three-month period ending February 2013 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods rose by 3.5 percent.
The value of imports plunged 18.3 percent year-on-year to HK$249.73 billion during the month. Compared to January, arrivals decreased by 24.8 percent.
The net trade resulted in a deficit of HK$33.99 billion, which was lower than the HK$45.79 billion shortfall recorded a year earlier. Economists were looking for a deficit of HK$36.2 billion.
Looking ahead, the external trading environment remains unsteady amid the fluid eurozone sovereign debt situation and the fragile fundamentals of the advanced economies, the agency said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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