Friday, 12 May 2017

Numbers and Reality Don't Match Up

Hong Kong's GDP for the first quarter beat analysts' forecasts
Breaking news, folks -- Hong Kong's economy is doing really well -- according to the numbers on paper.

On Friday official figures released showed the city's economy grew at the fastest pace in six years in the first quarter, as the gross domestic product rose 4.3 percent.

This was due to the buoyant stock market, increased trade, the hot property sector, robust employment and an encouraging global economic outlook, said government and experts.

Unemployment is low, but most people need a job to survive
The GDP was well above the 3.7 percent average forecast by analysts, and now that they are readjusting their forecasts, these analysts believe Hong Kong's economy will remain strong in the second quarter.

However, as a lay person, I see a different picture of the city's economy.

There are lots of shop spaces that have been empty for months, or over a year, other shops and restaurants closing because they can't pay the rising rents demanded of greedy landlords, and because of that people are losing their jobs or finding it hard to sustain their business because their clients' budgets have been slashed or don't renew contracts.

Does the GDP take this into consideration as well?

There are many vacant shops around town
The heated property market is thanks to uber wealthy people snapping up multiple flats as if they were several articles of clothing, or bags of candy, thinking nothing of dropping over a hundred million dollars, and mainland developers overbidding for plots of land.

There is low unemployment because the vast majority of us need to have a job -- it's expensive to live here!

We don't know how these financial experts come up with these numbers, but if it psychologically boosts Hong Kong, then we can't complain too much. But the reality on the ground is very different from what's on paper.

Just see for yourself.

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