COVID-19 and the Hong Kong economy

Part A: The impact

1. Economic growth

In his budget speech on February 26, Chan forecast that Hong Kong’s gross domestic product would range from a decline of 1.5 per cent to growth of just 0.5 per cent.


2. Unemployment rate

  • 3.7 per cent jobless rate this month meant 130,000 people were unemployed, 12,000 more than the previous month. (vs. 8.5% during SARS 2003)
  • Among hardest-hit industries was the consumption and tourism sector, which recorded a 10-year-high unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent, while the rate in the construction sector was 6.8 per cent.
  • “The economic situation is more severe than in Sars. Many small and medium-sized enterprises in many industries are experiencing a cliff-edge fall in business,” - Financial Secretary Paul Chan
  • “companies faced ruptures in the capital chain, while staff are forced to take unpaid leave or a pay cut, or even face dismissal.”- Financial Secretary Paul Chan