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Hong Kong's economy grew 6.8 percent in 2006

Hong Kong's economy grew 6.8 percent in 2006

Hong Kong's economy expanded by 6.8 percent in 2006, the financial secretary said Wednesday, as the pace of growth slowed for a second year following a rebound after the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Hong Kong's economic growth is likely to slow to 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent this year, Henry Tang told lawmakers in his annual budget speech. He predicted a trend of 4.5 percent growth for 2008-11.
Economic growth in 2006 slightly exceeded expectations. Economists had predicted gross domestic product to have risen 6.7 percent last year, according to an average forecast of eight economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires. The government had earlier forecast growth of 6.5 percent.
The consumer price index _ a closely watched inflation barometer _ is likely to rise by 1.5 percent in 2007, Tang said during his annual budget speech.
Hong Kong slipped into recession in 2003 when SARS _ or severe acute respiratory syndrome _ devastated the city's tourism industry.