Hong Kong in Recession as Economy Shrinks

Hong Kong fell in technical recession after economy shrank for two consecutive quarters. The domestic economy shrank 3.2% in the third quarter from the previous quarter, according to data released by government today. The gross domestic product drop between July and September followed a 0.4% drop in the second quarter.

The GDP in the third quarter was 2.9% lower than the same quarter a year ago, the lowest in a decade.

-Staff Reporter/ACMR News

South Korea Lowers Benchmark Rate

South Korea central bank on Wednesday voted to lower benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%. This follows a quarter point cut in July.

“As it is expected that domestic economic growth will be moderate and it is forecast that inflationary pressures on the demand side will remain at a low level, the board will maintain its accommodative monetary policy stance,” South Korea’s central bank said in a statement.

“In this process it will judge whether to adjust the degree of monetary policy accommodation, while observing any changes in macroeconomic and financial stability conditions and the effects of the two Base Rate cuts” it added.

-ACMR News

Philippines Lowered Key Interest Rate

Philippines’ central bank has cut rates for the second time this year, joining a growing wave of monetary easing across Asia in a bid to boost its economy after growth slowed.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the country’s central bank, trimmed its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 4.25%, joining central banks in India and New Zealand, which all cut rates on Wednesday.

The cut came as data released earlier in the day showed that growth in the south-east Asian country slowed to 5.5% year on year in the three months to June, down from 5.6% in previous quarter and the lowest reading since 2015.

The country’s manufacturing industry showed weakness, growing 3.7% compared with service sector growth of 7.1%.

Headline inflation fell to a two-year low of 2.4% in July according to data released earlier this week, down from 2.7% in the previous month. 

Hong Kong Debt Surpass 9T

Hong Kong’s total loans and advances grew by 0.9% in June to HKD 9.8 trillion, the monetary authority said on August 1.

 

The Hong Kong-dollar loan-to-deposit ratio went up to 85.4% at the end of June from 83.9% at the end of May, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority revealed. Loans for IPOs jumped up in the month.

HK Retail Sales Distorted By Holiday

Hong Kong’s retail sales grew at its weakest in three months in January, in value terms, due to a decline in tourist arrivals from mainland China and new year holiday distortions. The Lunar New Year fell in January last year but was in February this year. Retail sales in 2017 rose 2.2% in value terms over 2016, ending a three-year slump in the sector.
January tourist arrivals slid 2.6% from a year earlier to 5.33 million, ending four straight months of growth, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Mainland visitors, which accounted for 77% of the total, fell 5.5% on year, in their first drop since August last year.    The total number of visitors increased last year, rising 3.2%, after declining in 2015 and 2016. Of those, mainland visitors were 3.9% higher than in 2016.

 

Phillipines Trade Deficit Up on Infrastructure Expansion

The Philippines posted a record USD3.78-billion trade deficit in November, as imports grew while exports rose at a slower pace, official data released today showed.

 

Exports grew 1.6% to USD4.96 billion in November 2017 from the same period in 2016. Imports rose 18.5% to USD8.74 billion during the same comparable period, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.Analysts had predicted the peso’s decline this year with the government’s P8-trillion infrastructure program expected to drive the importation of capital goods, according to agency report. Iron, steel, mineral fuels and telecommunication equipment were the top gainers in imports in November, PSA data showed.

 

Hong Kong was the Philippines largest export market in November 2017, accounting for 15.4% of total exports and with an estimated value of USD765.95 million. Japan was the second largest export market, followed by the US and China, the PSA said.

 

China was the Philippines’ largest source of imports in November , accounting for 19.4% of the total. Japan was the second largest import source, followed by South Korea, Thailand and the US, data showed.

Hong Kong Trade Deficit Widens

Hong Kong’s foreign trade gap widened in November from a year ago, as imports grew faster than exports, data from the Statistics Department showed Thursday.

 

The visible trade deficit rose to HKD39.7 billion in November from HKD34.05 billion in the corresponding month last year. The shortfall was declined from HKD43.96 billion in October.

 

Exports climbed by 7.8% while imports climbed 8.6%, respectively in November from a year earlier.

 

– ACMR and agencies

S&P Lowers Hong Kong rating following China downgrade

Standard and Poor’s has cut its long-term rating on Hong Kong, following its cut to China’s sovereign credit rating , to reflect “spillover risks” to the territory.

 

S&P lowered its long-term rating on Hong Kong to AA+ from AAA  after it cut its credit rating on China. The ratings agency cited rising economic and financial risks in China following a prolonged period of strong credit growth as reasons for it cutting its rating on the world’s second-largest economy.

 

Strong institutional and political ties exist between China and Hong Kong, arising from the latter’s status as a Special Administrative Region of China. Consequently, we view a weakening of credit support for China as exerting a negative impact on the ratings on Hong Kong beyond what is implied by the territory’s currently strong credit metrics.