Macroeconomic outlook update

In our view, the current weakness we are seeing in the economic data may be short-lived as we expect the global demand for exports to continue to accelerate albeit gradually, giving some underpinning to local manufacturers and hence the overall economy. We believe that the economic growth can still pick up at a steady pace this year, provided that China remains on track to post a gradual recovery and we do not see a pronounced deterioration in the global economic environment. That said, the pace of improvement will likely be slow in the coming few months and a notable GDP rebound will not take place until the second half of the year, in our view. Although this poses downside risks to our full-year GDP growth projection of 3.5%, it doesn't imply a change in the recovery path for the remaining quarters of this year.