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Hong Kong Export Growth Fastest Since 2018

Hong Kong's exports grew at the fastest pace in over two years in December, survey data from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Tuesday.

Exports rose 11.7 percent year-on-year in December, which was both the first double-digit growth and the fastest rate of increase since October 2018.

In November, exports rose 5.6 percent. Exports climbed for a second straight month.

Imports increased 14.1 percent year-on-year in December after a 5.1 percent rise in November. The growth was the fourth in a row and the fastest since October 2018.

On a month-on-month basis, exports grew 3.3 percent and imports rose 8.1 percent.

The visible trade deficit widened to HK$45.7 billion from HK$25.6 billion in November. In the same month a year ago, the shortfall was HK$32.4 billion.

In 2020, a year when the global trade activity was savaged by the coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic, Hong Kong's exports shrunk 1.5 percent from the previous year and imports declined 3.3 percent.

The visible trade deficit was HK$342.2 billion versus HK$426.7 billion in 2019.

A government spokesman attributed the strong export growth in December to a further revival in import demand in many major markets.

Exports to the Mainland China accelerated notably, and those to the US and the EU also saw faster growth. Shipments to many other major Asian markets also improved.

"Looking ahead, while the Mainland economy is expected to strengthen further and render support to Hong Kong's exports, the prospects of other major markets will depend on how the pandemic situation evolves," the spokesman said.

"Evolving China-US relations under the new US administration, persistent geopolitical tensions and post-Brexit developments also warrant attention."

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