Hong Kong crawls out of recession

Hong Kong rejoiced today as it joined France and Germany as the latest territory to climb out of recession. This is, in large part, thanks to China's record lending and its massive 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package. The Special Administrative Region's gross domestic product increased a seasonally adjusted 3.3 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months, despite a 4.3 percent drop in the first quarter. Not bad, considering that the Euro Region's GDP is still falling, and the US economy is still shrinking.

Hong Kong's exports dropped 12.4 percent during the second quarter. While not good, that's a whole lot better than the 23 percent drop the territory experienced in the first quarter. According to billionaire Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong's richest man, "The worst is over for the global economy." His companies, Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., closed at HK$96.45 and HK$57.3, respectively, posting better-than-estimated first half earnings. However, he cautioned that, while the speed of decline may have slowed, it would be too optimistic to declare that the global economy has reached a turning point.