By Chester Yung
HONG KONG--Hong Kong reported slower than expected economic growth in the second quarter, with weakening domestic demand and exports signalling the beginning of a slowdown as trade tensions escalate and central banks around the world tighten monetary policy.
The city's gross domestic product rose 3.5% in the three months ended June 30 from a year earlier, easing from a revised 4.6% growth in the first quarter. The figure was below the median 3.9% increase forecast by five economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
On a sequential basis, second-quarter GDP fell 0.2%, reversing a revised 2.1% growth in the previous quarter.
Private consumption, which makes up about two-thirds of Hong Kong's GDP, rose 6.1% year-over-year during the second quarter--down from an 8.8% expansion in the first quarter. Total exports of goods rose 4.6% in the second quarter from a year earlier, weaker than 5.2% growth in the previous quarter.
The government maintained the 2018 GDP growth forecast at 3%-4% after last year's 3.8% expansion, the fastest pace since 2011.
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