HONG KONG, Apr 29, 2020, SCMP. Hong Kong’s economy could fare even worse than expected and shrink by between 4 and 7 per cent this financial year because of the serious and sustained impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the city’s finance chief said, South China Morning Post reported.
Speaking on Wednesday during a Legislative Council debate on the government’s latest budget, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po revised his previous prediction in February, when he said the city’s gross domestic product this year would fall by 1.5 per cent, or grow by 0.5 per cent at the most.
“The magnitude of Hong Kong’s economic recession in the first quarter could be worse than 2008’s global economic tsunami, or the 1999 Asian financial crisis,” Chan said.
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Chan also said the pandemic’s impact to the city’s economy had been “more serious and long-lasting” than thought.
“Hong Kong’s economic performance will inevitably be worse than expected,” Chan said.
He called on various sectors of society to resolve their differences and urged lawmakers to pass the budget as quickly as possible.