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Hong Kong's GDP in 2019 contracted for the first time in a decade

PRELIMINARY government statistics show that Hong Kong plunged into recession in 2019, suffering its first annual contraction in a decade due to pressures of the US-China trade war and months of pro-democracy protests

04 February 2020 - 19:00

PRELIMINARY government statistics show that Hong Kong plunged into recession in 2019, suffering its first annual contraction in a decade due to pressures of the US-China trade war and months of pro-democracy protests.

The release of the figures come at a time when Hong Kong is facing another crisis - the outbreak of a deadly new coronavirus across the mainland.



Hong Kong's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 1.2 per cent year on year for 2019, the first annual decline since 2009, when the financial hub was hit hard by the global financial crash.



GDP decreased by 2.9 per cent in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2019 from a year earlier, compared with the decrease of 2.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2019. The decline of GDP was mainly attributable to the weak performance in both domestic and external demand.



A government spokesman said: 'The local social incidents with violence during the quarter took a further heavy toll on economic sentiment as well as consumption- and tourism-related activities.



'Total exports of goods continued to decline amid the difficult external environment, though at a somewhat narrower rate.'



Commenting on the economic outlook for 2020, the spokesman said the Hong Kong 'is subject to high uncertainties', including those stemming from the pace of global economic recovery, US-China trade relations and the local social incidents.



'It also depends much on the development of the novel coronavirus infection in Hong Kong and Asia, which could further weigh on economic sentiment, consumption- and tourism-related activities and even economic performance of some Asian economies. The Government will monitor the situation closely,' the spokesman added.


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