November 15, 2019 / 8:45 AM / 9 months ago

Hong Kong third-quarter GDP shrinks 3.2%, confirms depth of recession

Riot police stand in the middle of a street in Central district in Hong Kong, China, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong confirmed on Friday its economy plunged into its first recession in a decade in the third quarter, weighed down by increasingly violent anti-government protests and the escalating U.S.-China trade war.

The economy shrank by a seasonally adjusted 3.2% in July-September from the previous quarter, in line with a preliminary reading, revised government data showed. Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted for the second consecutive quarter, meeting the technical definition of a recession.

From a year earlier, the economy contracted 2.9%, the same as the preliminary drop. The readings were the weakest since the global financial crisis in 2008/2009.

Months of confrontation between police and protesters have plunged the financial and trading hub into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Tourists are cancelling bookings, retailers are reeling from a sharp drop in sales and the stock market is faltering, adding to pressure the city is feeling from China’s economic slowdown and the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade dispute.

Reporting by Twinnie Siu, Donny Kwok, Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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