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Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

Hong Kong economy grows 6.4 per cent last year but pandemic ‘weighs on sentiment’

Hong Kong economy grows 6.4 per cent last year but pandemic ‘weighs on sentiment’

In the fourth quarter, the city recorded growth of 4.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2020 on the back of strong export growth and buoyant private consumption.
Hong Kong’s economy grew 6.4 per cent last year but stringent social-distancing curbs amid the escalating fifth wave of the coronavirus posed a threat to the pace of recovery.

The advance estimate by the Census and Statistics Department on Friday showed the year-on-year expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) was at the high end of the official forecast of between 5.5 and 6.5 per cent.

In the fourth quarter, the city recorded growth of 4.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2020 on the back of strong export growth and buoyant private consumption related to the government’s HK$36 billion (US$4.62 billion) consumption voucher scheme under which eligible Hong Kong residents were each entitled to HK$5,000 worth of e-vouchers.

A government spokesman said the economy was expected to expand further in 2022, but the pace of growth was subject to various uncertainties, especially those relating to the local pandemic.

“The latest wave of epidemic and the tightened anti-epidemic measures have posed renewed pressures on economic activities and weighed on sentiment. It is essential for the community to work together with the government to contain the epidemic,” he said.

Hong Kong’s exports rose at 26.3 per cent last year, their sharpest pace in 33 years, in tandem with the global economic recovery. Imports leapt 24.3 per cent last year, the most since 2010 when they grew 25 per cent.

The latest jobless rate was 3.9 per cent in December, the lowest since December 2019.
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