Optimism over economic outlook for 2018 surges among Hong Kong’s finance professionals
Finance professionals in Hong Kong are six times more optimistic about the city’s economic outlook in 2018 compared to last year, thanks to economic growth in mainland China,
a firm US economy, low interest rates and a government plan to ease tax burdens on companies, according to a survey released on Thursday.
The poll by the Hong Kong office of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a global accountancy body, found that 32 per cent of respondents were positive about the city’s business and economic prospects in 2018, increasing from just 5 per cent at the same time last year.
Projections of strong economic growth in China and a steady performance in the US are likely to help the city’s prospects, given its role as an international financial centre, the ACCA said.
“China and the US are both important sources of direct investment, and they are also the city’s major export markets,” said Eunice Chu, head of policy at ACCA Hong Kong. “Hong Kong’s economy is likely to benefit from China’s economic growth and a US economic recovery.”
The World Bank has forecast China’s economic growth at 6.4 per cent in 2018, slightly lower than last year’s forecast 6.8 per cent, while the International Monetary Fund projects 6.5 per cent. Participants in the annual Forecast of China’s Economy for 2018 conference in New York on Tuesday, however, put growth this year at 6.8 to 7 per cent.
Meanwhile, US GDP growth is expected to remain at a steady 2.5 per cent in 2018, according to a forecast released at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in December.