Hong Kong Economy Shrank in First Quarter, Advance Data Show

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By Fabiana Negrin Ochoa

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Hong Kong’s economy likely contracted in the first quarter of the year, buckling under what a government described as immense pressure.

Advance gross domestic product estimates released by the Census and Statistics Department on Tuesday showed the economy shrank 4.0% from a year earlier. That compares with the 4.7% expansion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021 and snapped the streak of year-on-year growth marked throughout the previous four quarters.

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On a seasonally adjusted on-quarter basis, GDP fell 2.9%.

In a commentary provided along with the data, a government attributed the decline to a range of factors both at home and abroad. Externally, moderating global demand growth and pandemic-driven transport disruptions dragged heavily on exports, the said. Domestically, a fifth wave of Covid-19 and resulting containment measures dealt a big blow to economic activity and sentiment.

Looking ahead, the flagged uncertainty stemming from high inflation globally, the fallout from the war in Ukraine, continued disruptions from the pandemic and China-US relations.

However, the noted that the Covid wave has been receding at home since early March, allowing for the gradual easing of social-distancing curbs. This, along with government support measures, should help revive domestic demand during the rest of the year, the said.

Revised first-quarter GDP figures are slated to be released on May 13, along with a revised forecast for 2022.

Write to Fabiana Negrin Ochoa at [email protected]

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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