Hong Kong's exports and imports of goods both dropped in January from the same period last year, official data showed on Tuesday.
The value of total exports of goods dropped by 0.4 percent over a year earlier to 348.7 billion HK dollars (44.71 billion U.S. dollars), after a year-on-year decrease of 5.8 percent in December 2018, according to the Census and Statistics Department of the government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The value of imports of goods shrank by 6 percent over a year earlier to 359 billion HK dollars (46.03 billion U.S. dollars) in January 2019, after a year-on-year decrease of 7 percent in December 2018.
A visible trade deficit of 10.3 billion HK dollars, equivalent to 2.9 percent of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in January.
A government spokesman said the value of merchandise exports recorded a marginal year-on-year decline in January. The trade figures for January might have been distorted by the difference in timing of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which fell in early February this year but mid-February last year. It is thus more meaningful to analyze the trade figures for January and February combined, when available, for a clearer picture of the underlying situation.
Looking ahead, the external environment is still challenging and moderating economic growth in many of Hong Kong's key trading partners will likely weigh on Hong Kong's merchandise exports in the near term, the spokesman said.