HONG KONG (REUTERS) – Hong Kong’s economy shrank 8.9 per cent in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, the government said on Friday (May 15), as the coronavirus pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the city following months of social unrest.

It is the third straight quarter of year-on-year contractions for the Asian financial hub, and its worst quarterly drop since records began in 1974.

The first quarter’s pace compares with a decline of 3 per cent in the previous quarter, and an advance estimate of negative 8.9 per cent.

On a quarterly basis, the economy contracted a seasonally adjusted 5.3 per cent for the January-to-March period, after a revised 0.5 per cent drop in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The government also reiterated its forecast for this year of a 4 per cent to 7 per cent contraction for Hong Kong’s economy.

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