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Hong Kong’s economy is not out of the woods despite sharp rebound, says commerce secretary

Hong Kong’s economy is not out of the woods despite sharp rebound, says commerce secretary

Hong Kong’s economy has rebounded sharply after being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic — but it’s not out of the woods yet and some sectors are still reeling, said the city’s top trade official. “The distribution of this rebound is rather uneven,” Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday.

Yau explained that imports and exports have been a “very strong catalyst” of growth in the last few months, with overall trade hitting record levels in some months. However, retail sales are moderating and tourism is still struggling to recover, he said.

The Hong Kong economy grew 7.9% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a year ago. It was the city’s first economic expansion after six consecutive quarters of year-on-year contraction. Before the pandemic, Hong Kong — a Chinese-ruled semi-autonomous region — was rocked by widespread pro-democracy protests that turned violent at times.

The Covid outbreak dealt another blow to the economy. While retail sales have recovered since February this year, the pace of growth has slowed down. Meanwhile, visitor arrivals into Hong Kong have remained weak.

Hong Kong’s economy is not out of the woods despite sharp rebound, says commerce secretary, CNBC, Jun 3

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