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    Hong Kong Economy - 1991

      Overview: Hong Kong has a free market economy with few tariffs or nontariff barriers. Natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. Manufacturing accounts for about 18% of GDP, employs 28% of the labor force, and exports about 90% of its output. Real GDP growth averaged a remarkable 8% in 1987-88, then slowed to 2.5-3.0% in 1989-90. Unemployment, which has been declining since the mid-1980s, is now less than 2%. A shortage of labor continues to put upward pressure on prices and the cost of living. Short-term prospects remain solid so long as major trading partners continue to be prosperous. The crackdown in China in 1989-90 casts a long shadow over the longer term economic outlook.

      GDP: $64.0 billion, per capita $11,000; real growth rate 2.5% (1990)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9.8% (1990)

      Unemployment rate: 1.8% (1990)

      Budget: $8.8 billion (FY90)

      Exports: $80.3 billion (f.o.b., 1990), including reexports of $51.2 billion; commodities--clothing, textile yarn and fabric, footwear, electrical appliances, watches and clocks, toys; partners--US 32%, China 19%, FRG 7%, UK 6%, Japan 6% (1989)

      Imports: $79.5 billion (c.i.f., 1990); commodities--foodstuffs, transport equipment, raw materials, semimanufactures, petroleum; partners--China 35%, Japan 17%, Taiwan 9%, US 8% (1989)

      External debt: $9.5 billion (December 1990 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate 1.7% (1989)

      Electricity: 8,485,000 kW capacity; 25,000 million kWh produced, 4,340 kWh per capita (1990)

      Industries: textiles, clothing, tourism, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks

      Agriculture: minor role in the economy; rice, vegetables, dairy products; less than 20% self-sufficient; shortages of rice, wheat, water

      Illicit drugs: a hub for Southeast Asian heroin trade; transshipment and major financial and money-laundering center

      Economic aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-87), $152 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-88), $910 million

      Currency: Hong Kong dollar (plural--dollars); 1 Hong Kong dollar (HK$) = 100 cents

      Exchange rates: Hong Kong dollars (HK$) per US$--7.800 (March 1989), 7.810 (1988), 7.760 (1987), 7.795 (1986), 7.811 (1985); note--linked to the US dollar at the rate of about 7.8 HK$ per 1 US$ since 1985

      Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March

      NOTE: The information regarding Hong Kong on this page is re-published from the 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Hong Kong Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Hong Kong Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
    Copyright © 2003 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)