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Hong Kong unrest expected to hit economy ahead of latest data release


Hong Kong unrest expected to hit economy ahead of latest data release

hong kong economy protests
Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty

The Hong Kong government will today release revised GDP estimates for the first half of the year. The estimates will indicate the economy’s response to the ongoing anti-extradition bill protests, the US-China trade war, and low global economic activity.

China is Hong Kong’s largest export market—trade with the mainland accounted for 55% of total exports in 2018. Hong Kong is also used by wealthy Chinese citizens looking to divert their capital internationally.

However, the trade war has reduced its real exports by 5.4%, and fixed capital formation by a significant 12.1% over the same period in the previous year. Trade and manufacturing have been hit the hardest.

Tourism has also suffered owing to anti-Beijing demonstrations, which began as a movement against a proposed extradition bill on March 31 and escalated in early June.

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If protesters and Hong Kong’s government are unable to negotiate a solution in the immediate future, the atmosphere of socio-political uncertainty will further hamper activity in the coming months.

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