Financial Secretary Paul Chan has again urged people not to be "too pessimistic" over Hong Kong's future, despite the release last week of disappointing unemployment figures.
In a blog post published on Sunday, Chan acknowledged that the city's latest jobless rate – at 5.4 percent – is the highest since the April to June period last year, with more than 200,000 people out of work.
But he said the figures do not reflect the improvement in economic activity that he noticed when dining out recently.
"This data has a bit of delay and cannot give a real-time picture of the improvement in the market," he wrote.
He added that restaurant staff told him business has become "much better".
"We don't have to be too pessimistic about the future, or we may easily miss the potential opportunities during an improving economy," Chan continued.
He said he expects the local economy to recover gradually, as long as the Covid epidemic stays under control.