Hong Kong Economic Forecast

Hong Kong Economic Outlook

February 25, 2020

In the final quarter of the year, economic activity declined at the sharpest rate in over a decade. Plunging fixed investment and a frail external sector led the contraction, while private consumption dropped at a slightly softer pace in Q4 but remained depressed nonetheless. Turning to the first quarter, the economy is expected to remain battered amid the coronavirus outbreak which has paralyzed Chinese economic activity. The manufacturing PMI was stuck in negative territory in January despite reaching a six-month high; employment levels continued to tick down; and inflation is expected to intensify due to the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, in politics, pro-democracy protests have seemingly taken a back seat as of late due to fears of the coronavirus spreading in Hong Kong, exacerbating uncertainty over a resolution to the current political turmoil.

Hong Kong Economic Growth

The economy should recover in H2 this year on a favorable base effect, gradually healing business confidence and some support from fiscal stimulus. However, activity will remain depressed, especially in H1, as the effects of political turmoil and coronavirus rumble on. Slower-than-expected growth in mainland China poses a downside risk. Our panel projects the economy will contract 0.7% in 2020, which is down 0.7 percentage points from last month’s forecast. Moving to 2021, the panel sees the economy growing 2.4%.

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Hong Kong Facts

Value Change Date
Bond Yield1.823.38 %Dec 31
Exchange Rate7.79-0.11 %Jan 01

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