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Hong Kong posts budget surplus as economy set for stronger growth

Published on Feb 27, 2013 2:25 PM
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Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang addresses lawmakers during the annual budget report at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on Feb 27, 2013. Hong Kong expects economic growth to come in between 1.5 to 3.5 per cent in 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (REUTERS) Hong Kong expects economic growth to come in between 1.5 to 3.5 per cent in 2013, the city's financial secretary John Tsang said in his annual budget speech on Wednesday, while offering a raft of relief measures, tax concessions and sweeteners.

"The intricate external environment will remain unstable in the year ahead," said Mr Tsang, warning of potential instability from currency wars and a trade slowdown to the financial hub's small and open economy.

A poll of eight banks estimated that Hong Kong's gross domestic product (GDP) this year would grow 3.1 per cent, accelerating from GDP growth of 1.4 per cent in 2012, its slowest rate since 2009.

In a budget short on bold steps, Mr Tsang offered a mixed bag of policies, including various relief measures for the poor and elderly, a marginal corporate tax and salary rebate and moves to bolster the city's financial sector and private equity industry.

 
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