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HK Economy Expected to Grow 6.5% This Year
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The economy of Hong Kong is expected to grow 6.5 percent for 2006, mainly due to strong consumption and investment, the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd. said Saturday.

"Given the decent 6.6 percent growth in the first half and the continuing momentum in consumption and investment, the full year growth reaching the original forecast of 6.5 is still quite probable," said the bank in its latest Monthly Economic Review.

Hong Kong's economy grew by 5.2 percent in the second quarter of the year, the slowest pace in two and a half years and significantly lower than the market consensus of 6.4 percent.

However, the bank pointed to the fact that the 5.2 percent real growth was still higher than the 10-year trend growth of 3.9 percent. And the average growth in the first half of the year still amounted to a decent 6.6 percent.

The review attributed the slowdown in growth in the second quarter mainly to four factors, including contracting government consumption expenditure, gross domestic fixed capital formation slowdown, growth of goods export slowdown and rising service imports.

"With the normalization of the external demands in the second half, the external growth momentum should renew and Hong Kong should see more balanced growth both internally and externally," said the bank.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2006)


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