Festive spending in the US appears to be quite promising but the outlook for European demand is decidedly bleak.
“Demand for air freight services is quite strong. Bookings are sometimes even tight, so the upcoming Thanksgiving (and Christmas) demand should be quite okay,” Willy Lin, deputy chairman of Federation of Hong Kong Industries, told a seminar.
Consumer products such as toys are expected to do well.
Europe, however, is an entirely different matter.
Lin said Hong Kong and mainland manufacturers that sell primarily to European buyers are going to have a tough time this year as several headwinds combine to create a perfect storm.
The recent Paris attacks will weigh on business sentiment and buying is expected to be on the conservative side.
A weak euro is also going to sap appetite and dent purchasing power.
Compared with some Asian currencies which have undergone notable depreciation this year, the renminbi or Hong Kong dollar looks especially uncompetitive to European buyers.
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