Economy grows 2.7% in Q1

May 17, 2024

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Hong Kong's economy recorded moderate growth in the first quarter of 2024, with real gross domestic product (GDP) growing by 2.7% year-on-year, and the Government expects the local economy to record further growth in the rest of the year.


Presenting the First Quarter Economic Report 2024 at a press conference today, Government Economist Adolph Leung said exports of services continued to grow notably by 8.4% year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter.


He pointed out that exports of travel services jumped further thanks to the continued revival of visitor arrivals. Exports of transport services continued to rise, while exports of business and other services showed modest growth. 


However, exports of financial services declined further.


Meanwhile, total exports of goods rose by 6.8% as external demand turned slightly more favourable.


Domestically, the labour market remained tight in the first quarter, with the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate staying low at 3%. 


Supported by the continued increase in employment earnings and the Government’s various initiatives to boost sentiment, private consumption expenditure rose mildly by 1% year-on-year in real terms.


The residential property market turned active in March, as market sentiment improved after the cancellation of all demand-side management measures for residential properties and the adjustments of macroprudential measures.


The number of transactions, in terms of the total number of sale and purchase agreements for residential property received by the Land Registry, rebounded by 29% from a low base in the preceding quarter to 9,823 for the first quarter, with overall flat prices culminating in a 2% decline.


Consumer price inflation was modest in the first quarter. The underlying Composite Consumer Price Index rose by 1% year-on-year.  


Looking ahead, Mr Leung said exports of services should be supported by the further revival of inbound tourism alongside the continuous recovery of handling capacity and the Government's efforts to promote a mega-event economy.


“Exports of goods should improve further if external demand holds up, though geopolitical tensions will bring uncertainties. 


“Domestically, rising employment earnings and the Government's initiatives to boost sentiment should help private consumption, but residents' changing consumption patterns may pose challenges,” he added.


The real GDP growth forecast for 2024 as a whole is maintained at 2.5% to 3.5%.


On the inflation outlook, overall inflation should stay contained in the near term. The forecast rates of underlying and headline consumer price inflation for 2024 are maintained at 1.7% and 2.4% respectively, the same as those announced in the Budget, noted Mr Leung.

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