Hong Kong’s gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to expand by 3-4 percent this year, weaker than the ten-year average growth rate of 4.5 percent, Financial Secretary John Tsang said on Wednesday. Unveiling the budget for the coming fiscal year that begins in April, Tsang told lawmakers that consumer product index (CPI) growth this year is seen at around 4.6 percent. In other comments, he said that renminbi deposits and outstanding yuan-denominated certificates of deposit in Hong Kong have totaled more than 1 trillion yuan (US$163.16 billion), accounting for about 70 percent of the offshore pool of RMB liquidity. Delivering the 2014-2015 Budget Speech, Tsang also said the government will soon take forward legislative work on a proposal that enables private-equity funds to enjoy tax exemption for offshore funds. As for the territory’s fiscal situation, the revised estimate for government revenue for 2013-14 is HK$447.8 billion, 2.9 percent higher than the original estimate, and that for 2014-15 is projected at HK$430.1 billion. Tsang forecast a HK$12 billion surplus in the consolidated account for 2013-14 and a surplus of HK$9.1 billion for the coming fiscal year.
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