Hong Kong Growth to Slow This Half, Warns Finance Chief Tsang

Hong Kong’s top finance official warned the city’s economy faced difficulties and growth would slow.

“In the second half of the year, Hong Kong still needs to face the challenges brought by the fluctuating financial markets, weak foreign trade and slower tourism,” Financial Secretary John Tsang said in his blog on Sunday. “Economic growth may be slower than the first half.”

The city’s economy expanded 2.6 percent in the first six months of the year and Tsang revised his 2015 growth forecast to 2 to 3 percent from 1 to 3 percent earlier this month.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index of shares has fallen 18 percent since the end of June as mainland equity markets plunged amid signs China’s economy is slowing at a faster pace than previously thought. The city has become relatively more expensive for tourists as its dollar is pegged to the greenback and has held its value while most Asian currencies weakened.

The city’s budget and current-account surpluses would help it overcome possible difficulties, Tsang wrote on Sunday.