In Focus
ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s 2012 GDP growth estimated at 1.2%

Gross Domestic Product grew 1.3% year-on-year in the third quarter.

Government Economist Helen Chan said there might be some GDP improvement in the fourth quarter, leading the government to revise its growth forecast for 2012 to 1.2% from the earlier forecast of 1% to 2% in August.

Chan said the economy resumed growth at 0.6% in the third quarter after a marginal decline of 0.1% in the preceding quarter.

Total exports of goods saw moderate year-on-year growth at 4% in real terms given the recession-hit Eurozone and the slow-growing U.S .economy.

In September, residential property prices leapt further by 6% over June. Prices of small-and-medium-sized flats grew 21% during the first nine months of the year, much faster than the 11% figure seen for large flats.

Underlying consumer price inflation fell successively from 5.9% in the first quarter to 4% in the third. The forecast rates of headline and underlying consumer price inflation for 2012 as a whole were revised upwards to 3.9% and 4.5%.

Chan said there has been some stabilisation of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. In the U.S., recent economic data has been more positive, albeit shadowed by the fiscal cliff.

Against this background, she said Hong Kong's trading environment is still subject to a high degree of uncertainty. Activity in the Mainland's economy has shown signs of re-acceleration in recent months, which should help improve intra-regional trade.

Private consumption expenditure grew steadily further by 2.8% in real terms in the third quarter over a year earlier.

Signs of a slowdown in total employment at the end of the quarter caused the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to rise to 3.3%.



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