From the SCMP:
Hong Kong’s economic growth for this year could be lower than the government’s earlier forecast of 2.2 per cent, the financial chief said as he warned that the Occupy movement is harming the city’s image as an international financial centre.
Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah made the remarks on Monday morning following a night in which Occupy protesters escalated their actions and attempted to lay siege to the chief executive’s office at government headquarters in Admiralty.
“Some student groups have called on people to block government headquarters, and they tried to occupy Lung Wo Road … police have the responsibility to carry out enforcement actions,” Tsang said. ”What these groups have done is very irresponsible. We need to condemn them.”
Although figures from the Hong Kong Tourism Board showed that the number of mainland tourists who visited the city grew 18.3 per cent in October, compared to a year earlier, Tsang said he was not scaremongering when he warned about the impact of Occupy.
He pointed out that the number of visitors from some other places to the city had dropped.
Tsang said the number of property transaction in the first 10 months reached 5,700 a month on average, up 25 per cent on last year. Property prices have also risen 10 per cent in the first 10 months.
Basically, Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang has been consistently wrong in every prediction he has ever made. If he worked in the commercial sector as a CFO, he wouldn’t be able to hold onto a job for more than 2 years, if that, but he’s held his current position for 7 years, mostly because he’s surrounded by even bigger idiots than himself and he’s proven time and again that he’s willing to do the bidding of his bosses.
What Tsang has done as Financial Secretary for seven years has been very irresponsible and we need to condemn him.
UPDATE: Some figures, also from the SCMP:
… the Census and Statistics Department announced yesterday that the city’s retail sales value in October rose 1.4 per cent year-on-year, despite a previous warning from the Retail Management Association that there might be no growth in retail sales for the month.
… official figures showed the city’s overall retail sales value in October rose to HK$38.3 billion. It went up 4.8 per cent in September.
After correcting for the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales in October rose 4.3 per cent year-on-year.
Sales for electrical goods and photographic equipment went up 23.6 per cent. Other consumer durable goods including smartphones went up 67 per cent, and medicine and cosmetics rose 7.6 per cent.
Jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable goods went down 11.6 per cent, while clothes sales saw a decline of 8.8 per cent.
Caroline Mak Sui-king, chairwoman of the retail association, said the October figure was still bolstered by sales of the iPhone 6, which came out in mid-September. She believed the November figure could be better because tourists now knew how to avoid conflict areas in Admiralty and Mong Kok.
Mariana Kou, investment analyst at equity broker CLSA, said the retail market was significantly affected by the Occupy movement. The number of mainland tourists to the city was high because many tour groups were booked and paid for in advance, Kou added.
So if overall sales are up, when this Mariana Trench-mouth says that the market was significantly affected by the Occupy movement, is she saying that Occupy is actually helping Hong Kong?