HK economy slows as China tourists spend less

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong cut its forecast for the economy after quarterly growth fell to its lowest in two years on a sharp drop in spending by Chinese tourists.

The government of the southern Chinese financial center said Friday the economy expanded a "mere" 1.8 percent in the April-June quarter over the year before. That's down from 2.6 percent in the first quarter.

The government cut its annual growth forecast to 2-3 percent from 3-4 percent. It cited a "distinct slackening in tourist spending of late" and slowing domestic demand that have become "new sources of uncertainty."

The weak performance underscores the outsize influence of mainland Chinese visitors on the former British colony's economy. The spending drop reflects the economic slowdown and ongoing corruption crackdown in the world's No. 2 economy.