Hong Kong’s export growth accelerated at a faster-than-expected pace in February, figures from the Census and Statistics Department showed Thursday.

Exports climbed 7.2 percent year-over-year in February, much faster than January’s 2.8 percent increase. Economists had expected a 3.0 percent growth for the month.

The value of re-exports increased 4.7 percent , while domestic exports drooped by 2.5 percent.

At the same time, imports fell 0.9 percent annually in February, in contrast to a 4.7 percent increase expected by economists. In January, imports surged by 7.9 percent.

The visible trade deficit decreased to HK$ 35.9 billion in February from HK$37 billion a year ago. Economists had forecast a deficit of HK$ 55 billion.

A government spokesman said more observations will be needed to ascertain if the moderate growth trend will continue in the period ahead, given the still-challenging global economic outlook.

External trading environment remains overshadowed by various uncertainties, including the slow pace of recovery in some advanced economies, diverging monetary policy stances of major central banks, and geopolitical tensions in various regions, he said.

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