China Watch Blog has learnt that Hong Kong’s economy grew 4.3% year on year in real terms in the third quarter.
Releasing the 3rd Quarter Economic Report 2011 and the preliminary figures on Q3 Gross Domestic Product, Government Economist Helen Chan said today that on a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter basis, GDP expanded 0.1% in real terms.
Broadly on par with the growth trend of the past decade, she said it represented a further moderation from the 5.3% growth seen in the second quarter. The moderation was mainly caused by a sharp fall-off in exports towards the end of the quarter, amid an increasingly austere global economic environment.
She said having regard to the actual outturn of 5.6% GDP growth in the first three quarters of this year, the economy is now forecast to grow 5% for 2011 as a whole, the lower boundary of the earlier range forecast of 5% to 6% in the August round.
She said total goods exports fell to a modest year-on-year decline of 2.2% in real terms in the third quarter due to decreases in exports to the US and EU markets.
The forecast rates of headline and underlying consumer price inflation for this year as a whole are marked down slightly to 5.2% and 5.3%, from 5.4% and 5.5% in August.
China Watch Blog has learnt that by the end of September this year, total renminbi deposits had reached RMB622 billion or US$97 billion. Also, renminbi trade settlement handled by Hong Kong banks is estimated to exceed 1.5 trillion renminbi this year.
Since August, the Central Government of China has announced and implemented a range of initiatives that will help build Hong Kong’s strength as the nation’s offshore centre for renminbi business.
In his address on “Seeking Stability in an Unstable World” at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit in Honolulu, Chief Executive Donald Tsang, said: “We look forward to playing a full and pivotal role in the gradual liberalisation of the Mainland currency. Not only will this firm up Hong Kong’s financial-services sector in times of global uncertainty, it will – I believe – provide stability and opportunity to the global financial system.
“Seeking stability in an unstable world is a collective task and obligation,” he said.
“Since the launch of renminbi banking in Hong Kong in 2004, the scope of business and the pool of renminbi liquidity have expanded rapidly. We have embraced the introduction of renminbi bonds since 2007 and renminbi trade settlement since 2009. Banks in Hong Kong can now offer a range of renminbi services to personal and corporate customers,” Tsang said.