Financial Secretary says latest unemployment rate of 5.4% does not fully reflect the improvement of current market conditions


22nd May 2022 – (Hong Kong) The latest unemployment rate rose to 5.4%, and the total number of unemployed persons increased to more than 200,000. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in his blog today (22nd) that the data lag did not immediately reflect the improvement of market conditions. It is easy to miss out on improving momentum or emerging opportunities in the economy. Chan said in the article that with the easing of the COVID-19 epidemic, the government further relaxed social distancing measures as planned last week, the market atmosphere is lively, the flow of people in restaurants and shopping malls has further increased, and business has gradually improved.

He believes that although the unemployment rate has not improved, the job market is gradually improving. The rising trend of food prices is expected to slow down inflation. He pointed out that the basic Composite CPI in the first quarter of this year rose by 1.6% year-on-year, which was still moderate on the whole, mainly because rental expenses, which accounted for a relatively large part of the index, continued to decline, but prices of consumer products were higher than the overall figures. Taking the food prices in March as an example, the increase was 4.6%, of which the price of basic food increased by 7.6%. He estimated that it was related to the epidemic that disrupted transportation and logistics, affecting the supply of fresh vegetables and other food. However, according to the current upward momentum of food prices is expected to slow down.