Hong Kong’s exports declined in July as weakening global demand and a recovery slowdown in China continued to impact the city’s economy.

According to the Census and Statistics Department on Thursday, overseas shipments fell 9.1% compared to the previous year. This falls short of the average forecast for an 8.8% drop by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Indeed, exports have declined for over a year.

Whereas imports declined 7.9%, compared to economists’ forecasts for a 5.9% fall. As it stands, the trade deficit stood at HK$30 billion ($3.8 billion).

In addition, exports to Asia for July edged down 11.6% from July last year, according to a statement from a government spokesperson. Shipments to mainland China fell 15.2%, whilst those to Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines also declined by double-digit percentages, whilst exports to the US and European Union also fell.

“The difficult external environment will continue to weigh on Hong Kong’s export performance,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.

Over the past year, Hong Kong’s shipments overseas have struggled as soaring global inflation impacts demand for goods. The slowdown to the economic recovery in China also weighed, Bloomberg reports.

These latest trade figures represent an additional challenge for Hong Kong’s economy, with the outlook becoming less optimistic recently as the city’s post-pandemic activity surge wanes.

Indeed, Hong Kong’s economic growth forecast for the year was recently narrowed by authorities to a range of between 4% and 5%. This followed a rise in GDP by 1.5% in the second quarter of the year compared to the same three months in 2022, far weaker than economists had forecast.

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