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Hong Kong’s Unemployment Rate Holds Close to a Two-Year Low

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s unemployment rate held close to a two-year low, supporting economic growth and retail spending in the city.

The jobless rate for the three months through June was 3.5 percent, matching the median estimate of 14 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The government released the data on its website today.

The city raised in May its economic growth forecast for this year to as much as 6 percent from a previous range of 4 to 5 percent. Weakness in the U.S. economy and the European sovereign debt crisis may crimp the expansion by restraining demand for exports.

“Tourism and retail sales are doing very well,” said Raymond Yeung, a senior economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong. The unemployment rate will improve “at a very gradual pace,” Yeung said.

-- With assistance from Michael Munoz and Marco Lui. Editor: Paul Panckhurst

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Yun in Hong Kong at Myun9@bloomberg.net Sophie Leung in Hong Kong at sleung59@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst in Hong Kong at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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