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Hong Kong 2013 second-quarter GDP up 3.3% on year

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Hong Kong's economy grew "moderately" year-on-year in the second quarter, with domestic demand and growth in the mainland Chinese economy offsetting a weak environment in the West, officials said Friday.

Gross domestic product grew 3.3 percent in the three months ended June 30 compared to the same period last year, a government statement said.

The figure was slightly higher than the previous quarter's revised 2.9 percent growth.

The growth beat the prediction of seven economists polled by Dow Jones Newswire, who expected growth of three percent for the quarter.

Domestic demand, a key factor in Hong Kong's economy, remained robust with private consumption for the quarter rising 4.2 percent on year, due to strong demand by visitors from the mainland, an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent and rising incomes.

However, a challenging external environment, where advanced markets were sluggish and Asian markets had mixed performances, contributed to a modest growth of 6.2 percent in total exports of goods for the quarter, 2.6 percent less than the previous quarter.

Exports to the US, European Union and Japan posted moderate year-on-year decline for the quarter, while exports to Asian markets including China and Taiwan and Singapore also saw some slowdown.

"Looking ahead, the global economy is likely to continue to expand at a modest pace in the near term," government economist Andrew Au said in a statement, adding that uncertainties in the external environment are "still abound".

Au said that China's economy should be a "stabilising force" for the region.

"The mainland economy, growing at 7.5 percent in the second quarter, still outperformed other major economies and should continue to be an important stabilising force in the region," he said.

The government raised their predictions for economic growth to 2.5 to 3.5 percent from a previous forecast of 1.5 to 3.5 percent due to "somewhat reduced downside risks to the global economy".

at/ia

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130816/hong-kong-2013-second-quarter-gdp-33-year