Hong Kong’s exports in September fell again, extending their longest streak of monthly declines, as weak demand and China’s uncertain recovery continue to weigh on the financial hub.
Overseas shipments fell 5.3% from a year earlier to HK$380 billion ($48.6 billion), the Census and Statistics Department said Thursday. That was slightly worse than the median estimate of a 5.2% drop in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
It marked a 17th consecutive month of declines. That’s longer than streaks recorded during the Chinese stock market crash in 2015-2016 and the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.
Imports decreased 0.4% from a year ago, compared with economists’ expectation of a 7.2% dip. The trade deficit was HK$64.6 billion ($8.3 billion).
“The difficult global economic environment and the evolving geopolitical situation will continue to weigh on Hong Kong’s export performance in the near term,” a government spokesperson said in a press statement accompanying the release.
The city’s exports have struggled over the past year amid waning demand from China and the rest of the world, challenging the Asian financial hub’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
The decline came as Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee looks to boost the city’s economy with a flurry of stimulus measures. In his policy address on Wednesday, the city’s leader slashed extra stamp duties for some homebuyers and reversed a pandemic-era increase in stock trade levies.
Lee also pointed to external challenges that could slow the city’s growth, including a high interest rate environment as the US Federal Reserve has signaled a higher-for-longer rates policy.