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Gallup: Record-High 79% in Hong Kong Say Economy Getting Worse

Gallup: Record-High 79% in Hong Kong Say Economy Getting Worse
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Tuesday, 18 February 2020 09:01 AM

A record-high 79% of Hong Kongers say their local economy is getting worse, according to a new Gallup poll.

The Gallup poll found that 34% say their standard of living is getting worse, up from 23%.

The recent coronavirus outbreak is only likely to add to the existing serious doubts that most Hong Kongers had about the future of their economy at the height of the political unrest last year.

The coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,700 people across the border in mainland China and one of 60 patients in Hong Kong, has reduced tourist arrivals to a trickle and kept residents away from shops at a time when the city is mired in its first recession in a decade.

The Gallup World Poll data results were collected Aug. 10-Oct. 25, 2019, in Hong Kong, amid civil unrest that started over changes to the region's extradition laws that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to other jurisdictions.

Amid the unrest, Hong Kongers' optimism about their standard of living has also worsened. Roughly four in 10 Hong Kongers say their standard of living is getting better, matching the previous low that occurred in 2008 in the early days of the global financial crisis, Reuters explained.

Hong Kong retail sales have been in free-fall for a year as the economy contracted for three consecutive quarters, dropping 19.4% in December as protesters, angry with Beijing's perceived tightening grip over the city, clashed with police in shopping malls.

Communist Party rulers in Beijing deny meddling with the former British colony's freedoms, guaranteed when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Retail sales are expected to post their steepest fall on record in January at around 30%. Tourist arrivals in Hong Kong in February fell to under 3,000 a day on average, from around 100,000 in January, which was already less than half the traffic from January 2019.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the government would increase handouts to tackle the coronavirus outbreak to HK$28 billion($3.60 billion) from HK$25 billion pledged previously, to ease the impact on the Chinese-ruled city's battered economy.

Lam last week had said the government would give one-off payments to businesses across the city and the Hospital Authority, Reuters said.

This report uses material from Reuters.

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A record-high 79% of Hong Kongers say their local economy is getting worse, according to a new Gallup poll.
gallup, hong, kong, economy
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2020-01-18
Tuesday, 18 February 2020 09:01 AM
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