Falling retail sales, weakening property weighing on growth
Sentiment hurt by sluggish global environment, government says
Gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent in the three months through March from the previous quarter, the government said in a statement Friday, compared with the median estimate for 0.1 percent growth in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, the economy expanded 0.8 percent, less than half the pace in October through December.
Hong Kong’s retail sales fell for a thirteenth straight month in March, the longest stretch since 1999, as mainland Chinese tourists continued to stay away. Chinese visitors are projected to fall 3.2 percent for the year, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, with average spending dropping 4 percent.