A man walks along the Avenue of stars in Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong, China, on Dec 15, 2019. (PAUL YEUNG / BLOOMBERG)
HONG KONG — The Hong Kong economy dropped 1.2 percent year-on-year in 2019, the first annual contraction over the past decade, as months-long unrest and chaos dealt a crushing blow to a wide range of industries from tourism to catering.
A government spokesman said local social incidents with violence during the past quarter continued to take a heavy toll on economic activities, with inbound tourism suffering a setback and consumer sentiment being dampened
Hong Kong's GDP fell 2.9 percent from a year ago in the fourth quarter, worsening slightly from the 2.8-percent decline in the third quarter, according to advance estimates of the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Monday.
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The HKSAR government said the decline of GDP was mainly attributable to the weak performance in both domestic and external demand.
In 2019, private consumption decreased 1.1 percent, and government consumption increased 5.1 percent. Investment dropped 12.2 percent, and goods exports and imports fell 4.7 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively. Exports and imports of services went down 10.4 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.
A government spokesman said local social incidents with violence during the past quarter continued to take a heavy toll on economic activities, with inbound tourism suffering a setback and consumer sentiment being dampened.
"Overall investment expenditure plummeted further amid pessimistic business sentiment and subdued economic conditions," he said.
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