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Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 17:31

HK's exporter confidence rises in Q1

By Xinhua
HK's exporter confidence rises in Q1
A worker watches as a container is unloaded from a truck ready to be transported to a ship in Hong Kong on Nov 26, 2002. (AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS)

HONG KONG - Confidence among Hong Kong exporters rose in the first quarter of this year with the latest Export Index rebounding 6.7 points to 44.9 points, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) said Wednesday.

"Although confidence has improved, the Export Index remained below the watershed mark of 50, indicating that export sentiment for the immediate future remained slightly pessimistic," said HKTDC Director of Research Nicholas Kwan.

Among industry sub-indices, machinery and electronics performed better, recording 49.1 and 45.6 respectively. Except for jewelery, the indices of other industries also picked up compared to the previous quarter.

Export sentiment in all major markets also improved. The indices for Japan, the United States and the Chinese mainland edged up to close to 50, reflecting relatively neutral sentiments of exporters for these markets. Confidence in the European market was still rather weak at 46.7.

Price indices and procurement indices both remained below 50, signaling that unit prices would be lower and procurement activities may shrink in the short term.

On labor cost pressure, 64 percent of the respondents predicted a rise in labor costs on the mainland, an increase of 7 percentage points compared to the fourth quarter of 2014.

Daniel Poon, principal economist (Global Research) of the HKTDC, said the data revealed that the global economy will basically maintain its current growth momentum in 2015.

"With the US expected to gradually tighten its monetary policy, combined with uncertainty for the European economy and labor constraints on the Chinese mainland, the export environment will remain challenging," Poon added.

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