HONG KONG, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong economy grew 3.3 percent in the second quarter of this year in real terms over a year earlier, slightly up from the 2.9 percent growth in the first quarter, the city's statistics department said here on Friday.
Domestic demand continued to be the key growth driver, while the external sector was still constrained by the unsteady global economic environment, according to the report.
On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, real GDP expanded 0.8 percent in the second quarter, up from the 0.2 percent growth in the preceding quarter.
The external environment stayed challenging in the second quarter. Although total exports of goods grew 6.2 percent in real terms in the second quarter over a year earlier, the increase after excluding the surge in exports of non-monetary gold was actually rather modest.
The advanced markets in general were still sluggish, while Asian markets showed a mixed performance. By contrast, exports of services picked up visibly further, with a notable growth of 8.1 percent year-on-year in real terms, thanks to a marked acceleration in visitor spending.
The labor market remained in a state of full employment. In the second quarter, total employment increased further to another new high, pushing the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate down to 3. 3 percent.
Given the actual outturn of the 3.1 percent year-on-year real GDP growth in the first half of 2013, Hong Kong's economic growth this year will likely lie within the upper-half of the previously announced range forecast.
The GDP growth forecast for 2013 as a whole is thus revised from 1.5-3.5 percent in the May round to 2.5-3.5 percent in the current round of review.