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Hong Kong's GDP Grows 3.3 Percent in 3rd Quarter
Hong Kong's GDP growth recorded a year-on-year 3.3 percent growth in real terms in the third quarter of 2002, up from a 0.8 percent growth in the second quarter.

On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, the GDP rose for the third quarter by 2.5 percent in real terms in the third quarter of 2002.

The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) released the Third Quarter Economic Report 2002 Friday, and predicted that the GDP growth rate in real terms for 2002 is raised to 2 percent, up from the forecast of a 1.5 percent growth in the August update.

Externally, exports of goods continued to benefit from sustained strong demand in the mainland of China, generally increased import intake in the region, and a further gain in external price competitiveness from the earlier weakening in the US dollar.

In the third quarter of 2002, total exports of goods surged by 11.4 percent in real terms over a year earlier, the first double-digit growth recorded since the fourth quarter of 2000.

Exports of services performed even better, upon an extensive surge in inbound tourism, offshore trade and transportation services. In the third quarter of 2002, there was a 14.1 percent leap in real terms over a year earlier.

The domestic sector, whilst still weak, also showed some relative improvement in overall terms.

Consumer spending had a lesser year-on-year decline of 1.5 percent in real terms in the third quarter of 2002. There was a more visible build-up in inventories in the third quarter, along with the pick-up in overall economic activity.

In tandem with the pick-up in overall economic activity, labor market conditions improved lately.

Having risen for four consecutive quarters, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell back, from 7.7 percent in the second quarter to 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2002, and further to 7.2 percent in the three months ending in October.

In view of a better economic performance shown up in the third quarter, the government expected a strong momentum in external trade possibly extending to the rest of the year.

(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2002)

HK's GDP up 0.5 percent in 2nd quarter 2002
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