Hong Kong financial chief expects 2021 GDP growth to reach 6.4%

HONG KONG, Jan 2 (Bloomberg): Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan (pic) expects the city’s economic growth to reach 6.4% in 2021, marking a recovery from two years of recessions as the government largely keeps Covid-19 at bay.

The latest estimate is in line with Chan’s forecast in October for growth to be in the upper range of the government projection of 5.5% to 6.5% made in mid-August.

The improved economic performance was driven by strong exports, an improvement in local consumption sentiment under the government’s consumer voucher program, and an increased vaccination rate and stable epidemic situation, the city’s financial chief said in a blog post on Sunday.

Chan highlighted the surge of omicron cases, inflation and US-China relations as key risk factors to watch.

If the external environment doesn’t deteriorate significantly and the local epidemic situation can be maintained in a stable manner, Hong Kong’s economy can continue in a growth trajectory in 2022, he said.

Still, the breadth, depth and speed of recovery are full of uncertainties, the financial secretary said. - Bloomberg

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