Brand Hong Kong
Government Information Centre Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese  Search
Search Site Map Contact Us
Budget Speech
Budget Highlights
Press Releases and Speeches
Related Documents
Previous Budgets
Budget Speech
Economic Performance and Prospects

Economic Performance in 2003

45.      Our economic growth in the second quarter was abruptly derailed by the impact of SARS. Yet, in the third quarter, GDP staged a V-shaped rebound and recorded remarkable growth. For 2003 as a whole, GDP grew 3.3 per cent in real terms, a visible improvement over the 2.3 per cent for 2002.

GDP Growth Rates

46.      Our external trade in 2003 remained robust: total exports of goods and offshore trade surged by 14.2 per cent and 16.5 per cent respectively in real terms. The tourism industry recovered remarkably well after SARS. Local consumer spending revived progressively throughout the second half of 2003, while investment spending also reversed its downtrend towards the end of the year. Trading activity in the property market picked up steadily. The number of homeowners in negative equity has dropped from its peak of about 
106 000 to around 60 000 at present.

47.      The employment situation continued to improve. The unemployment rate fell successively from a peak of 8.7 per cent in the middle of last year to 7.3 per cent early this year, with the total number of unemployed persons decreasing by 64 200. While the unemployment situation is still fraught with challenges, there has been a distinct rise in employment and vacancies in many sectors. Deflation is also tapering off. The year-on-year decline in the Composite Consumer Price Index (CCPI) narrowed further from 1.9 per cent in December last year to 1.5 per cent in January this year, and for 2003 as a whole the CCPI fell by an average of 2.6 per cent.

Seasonally-adjusted Unemployment Rate 


Composite Consumer Price Index and GDP deflator

Contents | Next

2003 | Important notices
Last revision date : 10 March, 2004