International

Hong Kong: Pandemic and Repression Fail to Quell Mass Anger

The economic crisis under Covid-19 has arrived in full force. Hong Kong’s unemployment rate in the period from March to May was 5.9 percent, which is higher than the 5.5 percent during the global financial crisis in 2009 and the highest in 15 years. Workers’ layoffs, wage freezes and forced unpaid leave have become commonplace. According to a survey from website Jobs DB, 40 percent of Hong Kong wage earners have had their salaries frozen this year, while the average salary increase is only 1.3 percent, far below last year’s 5.1 percent. In the most severely hit sectors, retail and tourism/hospitality, the average monthly salary has fallen 8.9 and 8.1 percent respectively.

World Economy Scarred by Covid-19

The IMF’s last forecast, in April, predicted that world growth would contract by 3%, which it described, in what must be the most-used word of 2020, as “unprecedented.” This report revises that downward to 5%. What will be the consequences?