Finance chief expecting positive Q3 growth figure

Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Sunday that he expected positive news when advance estimates for third-quarter GDP are released on Monday, albeit with headline growth rates likely to be lower than in the first quarter.

Writing on his official blog, Chan said economic recovery in the first half of the year had been stronger than expected, while the year-on-year figures for July to September would have a higher base of comparison.

The secretary provided a more cautious forecast for the fourth quarter, saying growth in exports was likely to slow because economic growth globally appeared to be slipping.

Still, he said full-year growth for the SAR, would be close to the top end of the predicted range of 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent.

Chan said some had described 2021 as “a year of recovery” since most economic indicators have shown consistent improvement, but he noted that grassroots workers are perhaps not feeling that yet.

He said average wage rates in June fell 0.3 percent compared to last year after taking consumer price changes into account.

Chan also reiterated that the SAR government is further adjusting anti-epidemic measures in the hope of resuming normal travel with the mainland as soon as possible, which he said would provide an important impetus to the local economy.