Hong Kong third-quarter GDP shrinks 3.5% year-on-year, sees modest improvement in next quarter

A general view of the Two International Finance Centre (IFC), in Hong Kong
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Two International Finance Centre (IFC), in Hong Kong, China May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

November 13, 2020

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s economy shrank 3.5% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, the government said on Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic hammered consumer spending, trade and tourism but at a slower pace as the outbreak had eased.

It was the fifth consecutive quarter of year-on-year contractions for the trade-reliant city, but the long recession showed signs of slowing, with a gradual improvement in domestic and external demand on the back of mainland China’s recovery.

The third quarter’s pace compares with a decline of 9.0% in the previous quarter, and an advance Q3 estimate of a 3.4% contraction.

Activity picked up markedly from a slump early in the year as the government gradually relaxed social distancing measures and people returned to offices and stores.

On a quarterly basis, the economy grew a seasonally adjusted 2.8% for the July-to-September period, after a 0.1% drop in the previous quarter.

The government also revised the real GDP growth forecast for 2020 as a whole to a contraction of 6.1% from negative 6-8%.

(Reporting by Twinnie Siu and Donny Kwok; Editing by Catherine Evans)