Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it entered a technical recession in the third quarter as Lam unveiled measures aimed at restoring business confidence in the Asian financial hub amid monthslong protests.
In an annual policy address delivered Oct. 16, Lam said the Hong Kong economy recorded its worst performance in a decade with a modest 0.5% year-over-year growth during the first half of the year.
"Violent acts in recent months have aggravated the situation, posing an unprecedented challenge to our economy. ... We consider that the Hong Kong economy has already slipped into a technical recession since the third quarter," Lam said.
In mid-August, the government cut its 2019 growth outlook to a range of 0% to 1% from an estimate of 2% to 3% in May as it grappled with citywide demonstrations in the wake of the now-withdrawn extradition bill.
To help boost the economy and calm public discontent, Lam in her speech introduced measures such as land supply expansion for housing development, a proposal to hike household allowances and improvements to public transport subsidies. The government also intends to provide tax concessions for local businesses seeking to shift from exports to domestic sales.
Lam delivered her address over a video feed after several lawmakers interrupted her attempt to make a speech in the legislature.