Hong Kong anticipates GDP to significantly improve in Q1: Financial secretary
Published: Apr 25, 2021 05:05 PM
Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po Photo: Screenshot of GT interview

Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po Photo: Screenshot of GT interview

Hong Kong SAR’s economic growth in the first three months of 2021 is expected to “significantly improve” after slumping for the past six months, supported by improving overall environment and robust export growth of the special administrative region, Paul Chan Mo-po, financial secretary of Hong Kong SAR, said on Sunday. 

According to Chan, the regional GDP growth in the first quarter will ramp up as major economies have started to rebound, and vaccinations have rolled out worldwide. In Hong Kong, exports have been gaining ground for four consecutive months, with growth rising to 37.5 percent in the first two months of this year. 

However, Chan noted that the unemployment rate in Hong Kong SAR is still high, hovering at 6.8 percent in the first quarter, with nearly 260,000 out of job. Some worst hit sectors including retail and tourism see the unemployment rate elevate to 10.7 percent. 

“We need to fully contain local infections, so that business and tourism between the mainland and Hong Kong can be resumed sooner,” Chan wrote on his blog, “Otherwise the job market can hardly be fully improved.”

Chan urged that for the economy to recover and lives resume to normal, residents in Hong Kong should get vaccinated quickly. In Hong Kong, only 10 percent of the residents have got the first jab in the arm. In comparison, the rate has reached 40 percent in the US.

The major economies including the US and China have witnessed strong economic recovery lately. In China, where COVID-19 has been effectively contained, economic growth has reached 18.3 percent in the first quarter of this year. International Monetary Fund has levelled up the global economic forecast to 6 percent for this year.