Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hong Kong Confirms Asian Rebound

Hong Kong's GDP growth number confirmed the Asian rebound I have discussed the last two days. While growth wasn't as impressive as in Taiwan and Thailand, it was stiller a lot stronger than in just about all Western nations.

Compared to the previous quarter GDP rose 2.3%, or 9.5% at an annualized rate. Compared to a year earlier, the gain was 2.6%. Yearly growth was primarily driven by increased private consumption (+4.9%) and increased investments (+14.7%). Government consumption increased slower (+1.7%) while the trade surplus fell.

Hong Kong's unemployment rate peaked at 5.4% in the May-July period of 2009 while the underemployment rate (which is people who work part-time, but would prefer to work full-time) peaked at 2.4% in the same period. In the November 2009-January 2010 period, the unemployment rate had dropped to 4.9% while the underemployment rate had dropped to 2.2%.