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Hong Kong economy shrinks 4% in first quarter as COVID surge bites

Downturn comes after financial hub rebounded from recession in 2021

Scores of businesses closed as the government rolled out strict measures to battle Hong Kong's worst COVID-19 outbreak.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's economy contracted 4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, government data showed Tuesday, as an omicron-driven virus outbreak slammed the brakes on business activity in the international financial hub.

The city's statistics agency said private consumption fell into negative territory in the January to March period with the latest figures reversing a 4.7% on-year expansion in gross domestic product during the fourth quarter of 2021.

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