The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan (“Mr Chan”), delivered the 2019-20 budget to the Legislative Council on 27 February 2019.
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Mr Chan revised the estimated surplus for 2018-19 to HK$58.7 billion, which is higher than the original estimate of HK$46.6 billion but only amounted to around a third of the last year’s figure of HK$148.9 billion. The continuing trade disputes among major economies and the raise in protectionism present significant challenges to Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s economic growth slowed to below 1.5% in the 4th quarter of last year, which was the weakest since the 1st quarter of 2016. Hong Kong GDP has only grown by 3% for the whole of 2018, which is the bottom end of the government forecasts. With uncertainties like the US-China trade disputes, slow down of China economy and the effects of Brexit, Mr Chan estimated that the Hong Kong economy could slow further this year.