Hong Kong to post surplus even as economy grapples with China slowdown

Hong Kong to post surplus even as economy grapples with China slowdown

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A Hongkonger in a makeshift home.
Photo: Reuters

Financial Secretary John Tsang is expected to reveal tomorrow that Hong Kong’s economy is in good health.

The city relies on mainland tourists for cash, but fewer came to visit last year. Though HK made less money from shoppers, the government is still predicting a healthy surplus of HK$36.8 billion.

Tsang isn’t expected to announce anything too drastic tomorrow. The government has relied on one-off measures – or “sweeteners” – to improve a shaky economy.

However, critics say these sweeteners are failing to make much of an impact on the city’s economy as it faces slower growth and political tension.

Tsang reassured HKers via his blog on Sunday, saying that while sweeteners are a tiny part of the annual budget, but are an important boost for the local economy and job market.

The government is working more closely with Beijing under its “One Belt, One Road” plan. Though the details of this plan are unclear, it is designed to improve economic cooperation between HK and the mainland.

Despite Tsang’s optimism, HK is still facing tough economic times as the mainland struggles with its slowest growth in decades.

HK’s economic pressures are piled on top of a difficult political environment, including the bookseller disappearances, and tension after the Occupy protests.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
HK in 'good health' despite difficulties

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