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Hong Kong's Balance of Payments and International Investment Position statistics for first quarter of 2017
Hong Kong recorded a BoP surplus of $45.3 billion (as a ratio of 7.2% to GDP) in the first quarter of 2017, compared with a surplus of $21.7 billion (as a ratio of 3.2% to GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2016. At the end of the first quarter of 2017, Hong Kong’s net International Investment Position amounted to $9,454.4 billion (as a ratio of 374% to GDP).
Total employment in the private sector increased by 1.0% or 29 300 persons in March 2017 compared with a year earlier. The total number of vacancies was 70 460, which was similar to that a year earlier.
Significant differences can be observed across the European Union (EU) regarding the sector in which government debt is held. Among Member States for which data are available, the share of public debt held by non-residents in 2016 was highest in Cyprus (79%), followed by Latvia (72%), Austria (71%), Finland (70%) and Lithuania (69%).
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.2% (provisional figure) in March – May 2017, same as that in February – April 2017. Meanwhile, the underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.2% in the two periods (provisional figure).
In April 2017 compared with March 2017, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 0.3% in the euro area (EA19), while it remained stable in the EU28, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In March 2017, production in construction fell by 1.1% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU28.
The job vacancy rate in the euro area (EA19) was 1.9% in the first quarter of 2017, up from 1.7% recorded in both the previous quarter and the first quarter of 2016, according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the EU28, the job vacancy rate was also 1.9% in the first quarter of 2017, up from 1.8% recorded in both the previous quarter and the first quarter of 2016.
Hourly labour costs rose by 1.5% in the euro area (EA19) and by 1.7% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2017, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2016, hourly labour costs increased also by 1.5% and 1.7% respectively. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Euro area annual inflation was 1.4% in May 2017, down from 1.9% in April. In May 2016 the rate was -0.1%. European Union annual inflation was 1.6% in May 2017, down from 2.0% in April. A year earlier the rate was -0.1%. These figures come from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Surfing, chatting, online shopping are among our everyday activities that use information and communication technologies (ICT), such as computers, laptops or smartphones. Nowadays, we spend a considerable part of our time online for various reasons, whether at work, at school or university, at home or on the move. Often we depend on our digital devices to stay in contact with family and friends, to get directions to shops, hotels and restaurants or to check our bank accounts.
In 2016, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely in the European Union (EU). Denmark (139% of the EU average) had the highest price level, followed by Ireland (125%), Luxembourg and Sweden (both 124%), Finland and the United Kingdom (both 121%). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest price level was found in Bulgaria (48%), while Poland (53%) and Romania (52%) were just above 50% the average. In other words, price levels for consumer goods and services in the EU varied by almost one to three between the cheapest and the most expensive Member State.