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Hong Kong’s top officials promise raft of economic measures in new year and coming budget address to


More measures would be rolled out next month and in the coming budget address to help Hong Kong businesses survive the economic downturn, top ministers said on Sunday as they warned of challenges in the new year.

In a blog post, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said he expected negative growth in the fourth quarter this year, noting gloomy figures in retail sales, visitor arrivals and unemployment rates in certain industries.

“Although the statistics for the fourth quarter will be out only early next year, judging from the situation in the past months, continued negative growth is unavoidable,” Chan wrote.

Two other top officials, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah separately shared similar sentiments on Sunday while reviewing the impact of the ongoing political crisis.

Hong Kong has been rocked by anti-government protests since June, which, coupled with the US-China trade war, have pushed the city into a recession. The economy shrank 3.2 per cent in the third quarter from the previous one, while GDP was down 2.9 per cent year on year, the biggest contraction in a decade.

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