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Hong Kong Emerges from Recession - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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HONG KONG (AFP) – Hong Kong began to pull out of recession in the second quarter, government figures showed Friday, but officials warned against complacency.

Hong Kong’s GDP grew 3.3 percent in the second quarter compared to the first three months, ending four consecutive quarters of contraction, the government said in a statement.

The rise was much stronger than the 1.7 percent quarter on quarter growth predicted by economists in a Dow Jones Newswires poll.

On a year-on-year basis, the financial hub’s GDP fell 3.8 percent in second-quarter following a 7.8 percent fall in the first quarter, the figures showed.

Financial secretary John Tsang said Hong Kong people had shown resilience in the face of the global slowdown, and said government stimulus measures had also helped.

“I am glad that the strategy of the government to stabilise the financial system, support enterprises and preserve employment has yielded positive results,” he said.

“(However) as the global economy is still subject to uncertainties, we cannot afford to be complacent.”

The government raised its GDP forecast for this year to a 3.5-4.5 percent decline from its previous forecast of a 5.5-6-5 percent contraction. GDP grew 2.4 percent in 2008.

It also cut its forecast for inflation to a 0.5 percent rise, from its previous forecast of a 1 percent rise.

Two of the city’s key sectors — financial services and exports — have been pummelled in the past year by the global slowdown, but there have been some indications that decline has slowed in recent months.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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