20 February 2019
Hong Kong's economy grew as protesters took to the streets last quarter. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong's economy grew as protesters took to the streets last quarter. Photo: HKEJ

HK economy unaffected by Occupy protests, study shows

The impact of the Occupy Central movement on Hong Kong’s economy was negligible, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday, citing a report published by the University of Hong Kong.

The APEC studies program of the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy (HKIEBS) at the university estimated in its quarterly Hong Kong Macroeconomic Forecast on Tuesday that real gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2014 grew 2.5 percent from the same period in 2013.

The latest estimate is an upward revision from its earlier forecast of 2.1 percent, reflecting stronger than expected private spending.

The report said the Occupy protests might have been seen as having an adverse effect on the economy via a decline in the number of visitor arrivals and retail sales. 

However, statistics revealed that the civil disobedience campaign had no impact on the two figures.

It said that while there were worries that the protests could damage business confidence and drag down economic growth as a result, such a scenario is unlikely in the short term.

The fundamental factors — such as the rule of law, a free flow of information, Hong Kong’s role as a gateway to China, its low tax rate and world-class infrastructure — that have attracted businesses to operate in the city remain unchanged, the report said.

The HKIEBS said it remains optimistic about the outlook for the local economy.

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