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Hong Kong set to reverse 2 years of recession with 6.4% expansion in 2021: Macro snapshot

Economic growth in Hong Kong is expected to have reached 6.4 percent in 2021 due to higher exports and stronger vaccination campaigns, the city’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan, said in a blog post.

This rebound comes after the economy suffered from recessions in the last two years, Chan added.

Another factor that played a role in this recovery was the revival of local consumption and retail sales, he pointed out. 

However, challenges remain for the city’s recovery as the tourism sector is still facing setbacks.

The secretary indicated that a full healing of the economy will be accomplished only through successful epidemic control, calling on people to take their vaccinations.

South Korea’s economy

South Korean exports grew by 25.8 percent in 2021, the highest annual rate since 2010, driven by sales of petrochemicals and semiconductors.

Rebounds in global demand helped propel the country’s outgoing sales to hit $644.5 billion in 2021, according to government data.

This follows two consecutive years of contractions in exports.

Shipments of petrochemicals and semiconductors surged by annual rates of 54.8 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

Sales of car and steel were also 24.2 percent and 37 percent higher in 2021.

Moreover, the country’s imports reached an all-time high of $615.1 billion during the year, expanding by 31.5 percent.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s inflation rate hit 2.5 percent in 2021, the highest in a decade, rising from 0.5 percent in the previous year, official data revealed.

This could mean possible interest rate hikes by the central bank.

Supply chain disruptions and services expenditure were driving the country’s rising prices.

Last November, the Bank of Korea lifted its rate to 1 percent and upwardly revised its inflation forecasts.

India’s current account

India turned a current account deficit of $9.6 billion in the three months ending in September in 2021, compared to a $15.3 billion surplus in last year’s corresponding period, the Reserve Bank of India said.

This was driven by a 200 percent yearly expansion in the country’s goods deficit to reach $44.4 billion in the July-September period.

On the other hand, the services surplus widened to $25.6 billion, expanding by 21.3 percent from a year earlier.

China’s PMI

China’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index went up by 0.2 points to 50.3 in December on higher production in the sector, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics revealed.

In particular, output for pharmaceuticals, general equipment, ferrous metal smelting and rolling processing industries was higher.

Conversely, the production of textile, petroleum and other fuels declined during the month.

Despite being below the 50 threshold, the demand sub-index improved by 0.3 points to 49.7. In addition, the price index slipped as costs of raw materials declined.

Meanwhile, the index for non-manufacturing PMI rose by 0.4 points to 52.7 in December as the services and construction industries strengthened, the statistics agency added.

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