Date
25 March 2017
Hong Kong ranks No. 6 among the world's wealthiest economies when relative purchasing power is taken into account, a survey shows. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong ranks No. 6 among the world's wealthiest economies when relative purchasing power is taken into account, a survey shows. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong 6th-richest economy, survey finds

Hong Kong is the world’s sixth-wealthiest economy, a survey by Global Finance Magazine has found.

Countries and regions are ranked by gross domestic product per capita on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. 

Hong Kong ranks higher than the United States (which comes in seventh), Australia (10th), Canada (11th), Taiwan (17th), Japan (22nd), Britain (23rd) and South Korea (26th).

Mainland China is in 90th position.

The magazine analyzed the wealth of 184 countries and regions in the world, using International Monetary Fund data from 2009 to 2013.

The richest country is Qatar, with a per capita GDP (adjusted for PPP) of over US$105,000.

Luxembourg, Singapore, Norway and Brunei round out the top five.

Hong Kong’s per capita GDP (PPP) is about US$53,400, while mainland China’s is US$10,000.

Economist Andy Kwan Cheuk-chiu was quoted in an Apple Daily report as saying that GDP on a PPP basis can better reflect wealth levels, as it takes into account differences in inflation rates and exchange rates.

Simon Lee Siu-po, a senior lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Accountancy, said that GDP per capita by itself, without adjustment, may be misleading, as price levels vary from place to place.

For instance, Lee said, there is a huge difference between what US$1,000 can buy in Hong Kong and in Cambodia. 

Adjusting per capita GDP using PPP, which takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of countries, results in more meaningful figures, he said.

[Global Finance Magazine website]

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