Businesses evaluate revenue as protests end

World Today

Hong Kong has gotten back to business after the Occupy Central street protests in Hong Kong came to an end, and the barricades comedown. Economists said the disruptions had limited impact on the city’s economy. Hong Kong may come out of the protests more resilient than first thought.

CCTV America’s Cathy Yang reported this story from Hong Kong.

Businesses evaluate revenue as protests end

Hong Kong has gotten back to business after the Occupy Central street protests in Hong Kong came to an end, and the barricades comedown. Economists said the disruptions had limited impact on the city's economy.


In Mongkok, the height of the street protests took place in October.

Today, traffic is flowed again after authorities removed the barricades and helped retailers recover some of its lost business.

Some didn’t lose as much as originally predicted. The latest available data shows retail sales in October came in slightly better than expectations. Some economists have forecasted more growth this year.

“We don’t think Hong Kong will fall into a technical recession. We still see a moderate growth in Q4,” Chief Economist for ANZ Banking Group Li-Gang Liu said.

Li-Gang Liu of the ANZ Banking Group says a big part of Hong Kong’s resilience comes from city’s capital markets. In the months leading to the launch of the “Stock Connect Scheme” to open up mainland financial markets to more foreign investment, the Hang Seng Index soared to levels not seen since April 2011.

The recovery in external demand also helped Hong Kong’s economy.

“If you have a rise in exports, you have a rise of export revenues and a rise of earnings for companies,” senior asia economist for Euler Hermes Mahmoud Islam said.

But even while Hong Kong proved its resilience as the barricades came off, the city’s deep-seated economic challenges remain. Soaring rents, rising consumer prices, stagnant wages – the same old issues continue to beset Hong Kong the way they did – even way before the street protests began.

It’s the same laundry list of issues that affect the Causeway Bay, Hong Kong’s shopping district with some of the highest commercial rents anywhere in the world. This shop assistant said sales have slowed, but rents still haven’t come down.

The economy has shaken off months of social unrest. The unanswered question is whether China’s anti-corruption campaign will also discourage mainland shoppers from buying luxury goods-the sector hardest hit during the protests.