Hong Kong ends longest recession in decades - RTHK
A A A
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

Hong Kong ends longest recession in decades

2021-05-03 HKT 17:40
Share this story facebook
  • The government announced the economy grew 7.8 percent on year in the first three months of 2020. Image: Shutterstock
    The government announced the economy grew 7.8 percent on year in the first three months of 2020. Image: Shutterstock
Hong Kong's economy jumped back into growth in the first quarter of the year, official figures showed on Monday, ending the city's most pronounced period of recession in its modern history.

The international financial hub has been battered over the last 18 months by a triple whammy of the US-China trade war, months of social unrest and then the coronavirus pandemic.

It recorded six consecutive quarters of negative growth, a more prolonged downturn than during both the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2007-08 global crash.

That came to an end on Monday when the government announced the economy grew 7.8 percent on year in the first three months of 2021.

Hong Kong was one of the few places in the world unlucky enough to enter the coronavirus pandemic already mired in a deep recession.

In 2019, months of huge and often violent pro-democracy protests coincided with swirling trade tensions between Beijing and the United States, pummelling the economy that acts as an international gateway to China.

The city was among the first places outside mainland China to record a coronavirus infection, and the economy plunged by a record-breaking 9.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020.

Since then, Hong Kong has managed to keep the virus' spread down to a little more than 11,000 infections thanks to strict quarantine and economically punishing social distancing measures.

This year's economic rebound was largely sparked by a sharp resurgence in exports fuelled by recoveries in both China and the United States.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan has forecast full-year growth of 3.5 to 5.5 percent in 2021.

But the city has warned that the economy remains below its pre-pandemic levels and the recovery will be uneven. (AFP)