Hong Kong’s economy probably grew at its weakest annual pace in four years in the first quarter, hurt by China’s slowdown, weak retail sales and falling asset prices.
Four economists survey by Reuters expect growth in the January-March quarter to have slowed to 1.48 percent from a year earlier – the weakest pace since the second quarter of 2012 – and down from 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
One economist with a quarterly estimate forecast the first quarter grew a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent from the fourth quarter – when it expanded merely 0.2 percent.
“Hong Kong’s economy is facing myriad headwinds, including an increasingly acute residential property price correction and significant linkages with the slowing Chinese economy,” said Andrew Wood, head of Asia country risk at BCI research.
“While we do not envisage the economy tipping into full-scale recession in 2016, the risks of such an event are rising.”
Hong Kong’s economy grew 2.4 percent in 2015, about half the pace of 2011, as a slowdown in mainland China and a weaker yuan curbed Chinese spending, while a volatile stock market also hit domestic consumption. Read more