HONG KONG (Kyodo) -- Hong Kong's gross domestic product contracted in the second quarter by 9 percent year-on-year as consumption remained weak and tourism restrictions continued amid the territory's third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, a government economist said Friday.
Andrew Au said the economy stabilized in the latter half of the second quarter and dropped a mere 0.1 percent compared with the first three months this year, but full-year forecast was further adjusted downward to shrink between 6 and 8 percent, from dropping between 4 and 7 percent as earlier estimated.
The global economic depression, the inbound tourism industry that likely remains frozen and the third wave of local infection of the coronavirus pandemic are three key developments that would "severely affect local consumption activities and economic sentiment," he said.
"Economic recovery depends on how fast local outbreak could be contained," Au said.
Including the 48 new cases reported Friday, the total tally of coronavirus cases reached 4,360, with 67 deaths.
On rising tension between the United States and China, Au said the economic impact is minimal.
"Value of our domestic exports to the U.S. amounted to only HK$3.7 billion (US$477 million) in 2019, and that represents less than 0.1 percent of our total exports, so obviously the impact should be manageable," he said.
The jobless rate climbed from 4.2 percent in the first quarter to 6.2 percent in the second quarter, highest in more than 15 years, but with signs of stabilizing in May and June, Au said.