Saturday December 7, 2019
Home Lead Story Hong Kong Gov...

Hong Kong Government Lower Expectations From Its Economy’s Growth

Hong Kong reduces economic growth forecasts for this year

0
//
hong kong
Hong Kong growth might hit anywhere between 0 to 1 per cent due to protests. Pixabay

The Hong Kong government lowered its economic growth expectations on Thursday and estimated that the city’s Gross Domestic Product will grow between zero to one per cent in 2019 due to “strong economic headwinds”.

“If growth does hit 0 to 1 per cent, this will be the worst situation we have faced since 2009,” Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said in a press conference without directly referring to the protests as a cause.

“If Hong Kong’s economy grows in the third quarter at a similar pace to the second, the city will be technically in a recession,” he was quoted as saying by Efe news.

The technical recession would mean that the local GDP would have contracted for two consecutive quarters.

The data shows that during the first quarter, Hong Kong’s economy grew by 1.3 per cent, while in the April-June period it contracted by 0.3 per cent.

hong kong
‘Worst situation we have faced since 2009, says Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po . Pixabay

Chan also announced on Thursday a number of measures that are not officially intended to resolve the political crisis facing the Hong Kong administration but to take precautions in the face of the coming bad economic times.

The measures included a “mini-budget” valued at 19.1 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.44 billion).

According to the South China Morning Post, the measures also included increasing loan guarantees for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as lowering rents for hospitality businesses.

The British consultancy company, Capital Economics, predicted the protests’ economic impact could cause a contraction of one per cent in the third quarter, ending the year with an annual growth of 0.5 per cent.

hong kong
Hong Kong’s economy grew by only 1.3 per cent in the April-June period. Pixabay

According to Capital Economics, the most affected sector would be tourism, which contributes to around four per cent of the total GDP.

Hong Kong is witnessing the 11th consecutive week of demonstrations that erupted in June, sparked by the government’s controversial extradition bill that was later shelved by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam after intense popular pressure.

Also Read: What Topics British Students can Research About Indian History

The controversy surrounding the now-defunct extradition bill, which would have enabled fugitives to be transferred from Hong Kong to mainland China to stand trial under the latter’s opaque legal system, has morphed into a set of wider demands for democracy in the ex-British colony.

Hong Kong’s economy would face a severe contraction that could threaten the strength of the Hong Kong dollar if the protests continued or, in the extreme case, the Chinese Army intervened, Capital Economics warned. (IANS)

Next Story

Zomato Delivery Executives in Bengaluru, Mumbai Protest as Company Claims Efficiency

According to Zomato executives, their incentives have been reduced while the company has increased the travel distance to make them eligible to earn bonus points

0
Zomato NRAI
Zomato in a smartphone device. Pixabay

As thousands of Zomato delivery executives in Bengaluru and Mumbai protested against the revised rate cards, the online food aggregator on Monday said that reduced average delivery time (less than 30 minutes) has enabled its delivery partners to perform more deliveries in the same amount of time.

In Bengaluru, the remuneration per delivery has been reduced to Rs 30 from Rs 40.

“Different metrics such as base pay, user satisfaction, delivery touchpoints and minimum guarantee etc. help us appreciate our delivery partners in accordance with their efforts,” a Zomato spokesperson said in a statement.

“Reduced average delivery time and increased system efficiency have enabled our delivery partners to perform more deliveries in the same amount of time,” the spokesperson added.

The food delivery platform on September 7 said that it has laid off 541 people — 10 per cent of the company’s strength — across customer, merchant and delivery partner support teams.

zomato, NRAI
Founded in 1982, the NRAI represents the interests of over 5 lakh restaurants. Pixabay

The reason behind the move is an improved Zomato platform with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven bots and automation in resolving customer queries that has led to an overall reduction in direct order-related support queries, the company had said.

“We regret the inconvenience caused to our users and are continuously working to resume our services in the affected areas,” said Zomato.

Also Read: More than 3.3 Million Women in US had Unwanted and Forced First Sexual Intercourse Experience

According to Zomato executives, their incentives have been reduced while the company has increased the travel distance to make them eligible to earn bonus points.

The company, which is at the loggerheads with the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) over deep discounts in its fine-dining Gold programme, claimed it has improved the speed of service resolution and now only 7.5 per cent of its orders need support (down from 15 per cent in March). (IANS)