Hong Kong announces budget as coronavirus, protests drag down economy

A girl donning protecting mask in Hong Kong.

Anthony Kwan l Getty Pictures

The Hong Kong government has declared 120 billion Hong Kong bucks ($15.4 billion) really worth of steps to aid its economy, which has been dragged down by professional-democracy protests and the new coronavirus outbreak.

That prepared expending would end result in “a history significant deficit” for the coming financial yr, Hong Kong’s Economical Secretary Paul Chan said in his finances speech on Wednesday.

“Considering that January 2020, Hong Kong has occur under the risk posed by the novel coronavirus outbreak, which even more dealt a blow to the economic system. We need to get decisive steps to deal with the circumstance,” he reported.

Chan outlined actions to enable firms, workers and households weather conditions added economic issues posed by the virus outbreak. They include things like:

  • Minimal-fascination financial loans for small- and medium-sized enterprises, with govt ensure
  • A reduction in revenue tax by 100%, matter to a ceiling to $20,000
  • Hard cash payout of 10,000 Hong Kong dollars to long-lasting inhabitants age 18 and earlier mentioned

The Hong Kong overall economy entered its 1st recession in a decade when it posted a 2.8% yr-on-calendar year drop in 3rd-quarter gross domestic item. In the fourth quarter, the city’s GDP fell by 2.9%.

For the whole of 2019, Hong Kong’s overall economy contracted by 1.2% — the initial once-a-year GDP decrease considering the fact that 2009, mentioned Chan.

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