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HK's GDP to grow 2.9 pct in 2012


09:18, December 13, 2011

HONG KONG, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's GDP growth is expected to ease to 2.9 percent in 2012 from 5 percent tipped in 2011, Standard Chartered forecast on Monday.

We see the risk of a small GDP contraction in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 in seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter terms, assuming U.S. growth will be depressed but still positive, the recession in Europe will be shallow and China will achieve a soft landing, StanChart economist Kelvin Lau said on Monday's news conference.

Inflation is expected to peak in the fourth quarter of 2011, and its downtrend, which is to be led by lower food inflation, will become more evident throughout 2012, Lau said.

Hong Kong inflation will be at 3.5 percent in 2012 from 5.2 percent tipped in 2011, he added.

As for the local residential property market, Lau said the transaction volumes will stay low and the prices will stay volatile as both buyers and sellers remain cautious.

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