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Hong Kong Facing ‘Tsunami-Like’ Shocks, Finance Chief Says

  • City may see record budget deficit in the next fiscal year
  • Budget shortfall could continue for some time, Chan says
Commuters wearing protective masks walk through Hong Kong Station, in Hong Kong, China. 

Commuters wearing protective masks walk through Hong Kong Station, in Hong Kong, China. 

Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg

Hong Kong is facing “tsunami-like” shocks, and may incur a record budget deficit in the next fiscal year as the city counts the costs of the coronavirus outbreak after months of social unrest, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said.

The impact of the epidemic on the Hong Kong economy is being felt beyond retail, food and beverage and tourism-related industries, Chan said in a blog post Sunday. The short-term economic outlook is “cautious,” and shocks can cause the unemployment rate to “deteriorate rapidly,” Chan said.