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Hong Kong December Trade Gap Narrows

Hong Kong's foreign trade deficit for December decreased from a year ago, with the decline in imports outpacing that of exports, data from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Monday.

The visible trade deficit narrowed to HK$51.25 billion in December from HK$59.90 billion in the corresponding month last year. Economists had expected a deficit of HK$57.2 billion.

Exports and imports fell 5.8 percent and 7.0 percent year-on-year, respectively, in December.

In November, the trade deficit was HK$44.96 billion. Exports decreased 6.7 percent from the previous month and imports fell 4.4 percent.

For the whole year 2018, the total trade deficit was HK$563.292 billion versus HK$481.106 billion in 2017. Exports advanced 7.3 percent and imports rose by 8.4 percent.

"The value of merchandise exports showed an enlarged year-on-year decline in December 2018, as the moderation in global economic growth and the US-Mainland trade tensions increasingly weighed on the exports of many Asian economies", a government spokesman said.

"The near-term outlook for merchandise trade is challenging amid moderating global economic growth and the uncertainty surrounding the US-Mainland trade relations," the spokesman added.

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