Hong Kong recorded a trade deficit of HK$18.2 billion in March, lower than a deficit of HK$28.1 billion in the previous year, the Census and Statistics Department said Monday. Economists expected a trade deficit of HK$19.2 billion.

Exports fell 21.1% year-on-year in March to HK$175.5 billion, slower than a 23% fall in February. Re-exports declined 20.5% to HK$171.05 billion, while domestic exports dropped 41.1% to HK$4.4 billion. Imports were down 22.7% annually to HK$193.7 billion in March compared to a 17.5% drop in the preceding month. Economists expected exports to fall 19% and imports to decline 19.5% in March.

Month-on-month, exports were up 23.6%, while imports rose 17.3% in March.

In the January-March period, the trade deficit narrowed to HK$34.3 billion from HIK$51.5 billion last year. Exports slipped 2.4%, while imports declined 2.5%.

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