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Hong Kong may raise growth estimate: Finance Secretary

Hong Kong may raise growth estimate: Finance Secretary

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s government is likely to raise its growth target as the city’s economy expands faster than expected this year, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said, according to RTHK.

The government is likely to raise its full-year growth estimate by 0.5 percentage points from the 2 percent to 3 percent forecast in its annual budget in February after reviewing data in August, Chan said.

Hong Kong’s economy is rebounding after growing 1.9 percent in 2016, compared with average annual expansion of 2.9 percent over the past 10 years. The city’s growth rate beat analyst expectations in the first quarter as retail sales recovered and property prices reached records.

There are still downside risks remaining for the city, including uncertainty surrounding U.S. trade policies and capital flows amid rising Federal Reserve interest rates, Chan said.

The government is capable of providing at least 18,000 private housing units in the fiscal year ending March 2018, Chan said. Last year, the government beat its annual target to provide residential units to help ease the housing burden and soaring property prices. The government wouldn’t ease property cooling measures to help buyers purchase apartments, Chan said.