Hong Kong faces deepening economic crisis
Hong Kong’s economy faces a deepening recession as a result of the virus outbreak. Businesses in the territory have already been hit hard by months of sometimes violent street protests that have forced shops to close and transport to shut down.
The economy shrank 1.2% last year and economists at Fitch Solutions reckon it will contract by 2.6% this year with the vital retail sector brought ot its knees as the lucrative flow of Chinese tourists dries up thanks to the government’s new quarantine rules and airlines suspend flights in and out.
The sense of crisis has been heightened by panic buying in shops and supermarkets.
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There were long queues in supermarket across Hong Kong last night, with people panic buying toilet rolls and tissues, largely due to a rumour spreading online saying China will stop manufacturing toilet paper for the next two weeks. There was also a run on vitamins, rice and packet noodles, leaving supermarket shelves empty.