HK economy expected to grow 2pct3pct in 2019

01-Mar-2019 Intellasia | Marketwatch | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong’s export-oriented economy is projected to expand 2 percent to 3 percent this year after the city’s fourth quarter economic growth eased to over a two-year low amid the cloudy global outlook, the city’s financial chief said Wednesday.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan told lawmakers during his annual budget speech that market sentiment has become “increasingly cautious” this year amid “considerable uncertainties and downward pressures” in the global economy. Should the external headwinds deteriorate, especially if the US-China trade conflict escalates, then global trade, investment and financial markets will be subject to greater shocks, Chan said.

Hong Kong’s gross domestic product grew 3.0 percent last year, easing from a 6-year-high of 3.8 percent in 2017, Chan said.

The city’s GDP grew 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from the year earlier, marking the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2016 and below the median estimate of 1.5 percent in a poll of five economists by The Wall Street Journal. The fourth quarter growth also eased from the third quarter’s revised 2.8 percent increase. On a seasonally adjusted basis, GDP contracted 0.3 percent in the three months ended December from the previous quarter.

Chan said he expects inflation to be steady at 2.5 percent in 2019 as overall inflation is likely to remain moderate. He said the city’s budget surplus will likely hit 58.7 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$7.48 billion) for the fiscal year ending March. Fiscal reserves are expected to hit HK$1.1616 trillion by end-March, he added.—3-in-2019-2019-02-27


Category: Hong Kong

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